MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Xcel Energy is negotiating deals for big solar projects in Minnesota.

In a regulatory filing, the Minneapolis-based power company says it is negotiating with three energy developers to build large solar projects to comply with Minnesota's mandate that investor-owned utilities get 1.5 percent of their power from the sun by 2020.

The company says 36 energy companies proposed 111 large solar farms in response to Xcel's request for bids.

Xcel cited trade secrecy for not releasing details.

Xcel said the bid prices were "very competitive" and that 15 projects promised electricity at 8.5 cents per kilowatt hour or less.

Xcel says that such projects, known as "utility-scale solar," are the most cost-effective way to get electricity from the sun.