Xcel Energy is seeking proposals to expand its wind energy portfolio by adding enough new wind farms to power more than 750,000 homes.
This announcement is another step in Xcel Energy’s long-term plan to transform its energy fleet, and represents one of the largest wind energy proposals in the nation, bringing up to 1,500 MW of new wind power to Xcel Energy customers.
“This is an exciting day for Xcel Energy and our customers as we build our energy future. We’re already the nation’s leading utility wind energy provider, but today we take another major step to transform our energy fleet to cleaner more renewable energy sources, reduce our carbon footprint, and do so at an affordable cost,” said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy-Minnesota.
Xcel Energy is seeking proposals now to take full advantage of wind pricing supported by federal tax credits available for construction of new wind projects. The additional wind energy is part of the company’s long-term plan to more than double its renewable energy portfolio and deliver 63 percent of our energy from carbon-free resources in the next 15 years.
“This is a great value for our customers,” said Clark. “We’re pursuing proposals now to take full advantage of low wind prices which means we can expand our wind energy portfolio at an extremely competitive cost.”
Xcel Energy can increase the amount of wind generation on the system without impacting service reliability because of the company’s sophisticated wind forecasting technology and infrastructure investments that have been made in our system that can deliver wind to communities where customers live.
Proposals can be a mix of power purchase agreements and projects purchased from developers.
· Projects must interconnect to Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Michigan
· Projects must be at least 75 MW
· Bidders are responsible for all transmission interconnection and system upgrades required by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.
· Xcel Energy expects to file for regulatory approval of selected projects in spring 2017
Xcel Energy will evaluate proposals submitted, and bring forward proposed plans for regulatory review and approval.