The state’s largest electricity provider is asking utilities commissioners to approve a $1 billion wind project.

The wind farm would cover 90,000 acres across parts of five counties on the eastern plains.

Xcel Energy needs the Public Utilities Commission to approve several aspects of the proposed Rush Creek Wind project, like acquiring Rush Creek and permission to charge rate payers for construction and maintenance costs.  

An Xcel spokesman says the company is motivated by economics, and has already met a state mandate to use renewable sources to generate 30 percent of the electricity it sells.

Construction could start late next year with the wind farm potentially producing power before 2019.