The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has approved the proposed Rush Creek Wind Project to be developed by Xcel Energy.

The project, which is one of the Colorado’s largest wind farms, includes two generation sites and a 90-mile high-voltage transmission line tying into Xcel’s electric system.

It will feature 300 turbines on approximately 116,000 acres in Elbert, Lincoln, Kit Carson and Cheyenne counties in the US.

The agreement approved by the Commission caps the cost of the project at $1.096bn.

It also allows sharing of cost savings between customers and the company if capital costs come below the capped figure.

The PUC said that the project satisfied the reasonable cost standard in state law that permits utility ownership of up to 25% of the total new renewable energy resources acquired after 27 March, 2007.

Construction on the project is expected to begin in 2017 and anticipated commercial operations are likely to begin in late 2018.

 PUC Chairman Joshua Epel said: “I’m very pleased that almost 20 parties could join together and support a comprehensive settlement that significantly increases renewable energy in the state, will be a driver of economic development in rural Colorado, and helps sustain the renewable energy supply chain that has matured in Colorado.”

The approval also enables Xcel to pursue an earlier construction schedule for the proposed Pawnee-Daniels Park Transmission Project to gain from federal tax credits and to accommodate the Rush Creek project interconnection.