Xcel Energy plans four new wind farms

Xcel wind energy

Xcel Energy is proposing to build four new wind farms in Minnesota and North Dakota. The projects, totaling 750 MW, will provide enough energy to power nearly 400,000 homes. They are part of the company’s plan to move away from coal while delivering cost-effective energy to customers.

“This is a big day for Xcel Energy and our customers as we take our wind leadership to a new level, while bringing value to our customers,” said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy–Minnesota. “We’re building an energy future with low-cost wind that delivers the renewable energy customers want at an affordable price.”

Customers are expected to save hundreds of millions in energy costs over the next 20 years as a result of these wind investments. The projects will create jobs and increase the local tax base, benefitting landowners, local suppliers and communities during construction and operation of the wind farms.

Wind portfolio details

·         Freeborn Wind Energy, a 200 MW project located in Freeborn County, Minnesota, developed by Invenergy

·         Foxtail Wind, a 150 MW project located in Dickey County, North Dakota, developed by NextEra Energy Resources

·         Blazing Star 1, a 200 MW project located in Lincoln County, Minnesota, developed by Geronimo Energy

·         Blazing Star 2, a 200 MW project located in Lincoln County, Minnesota, developed by Geronimo Energy

“The new wind portfolio delivers on our plan to more than double our renewable energy sources over the next 15 years, and reduces carbon emissions by 60 percent from 2005 levels,” said Clark.

“We are pleased to continue our longstanding relationship with Xcel Energy by developing the Blazing Star 1 and 2 projects for their ownership portfolio, “said Blake Nixon, president of Geronimo Energy. “Geronimo Energy’s community-focused wind development approach, combined with Xcel Energy’s deep experience in project construction and operation, will result in cost-competitive, clean wind energy for Xcel Energy customers.”

“As world leaders in renewable energy development and operations, NextEra Energy Resources and Xcel Energy have worked together on numerous wind and solar projects over the past decade and we are pleased to partner once again on the Foxtail Wind Energy Center,” said John DiDonato, vice president of wind development for NextEra Energy Resources. “The project will create good jobs and provide millions of dollars in landowner payments and tax benefits to North Dakota communities, while generating affordable, clean energy for generations to come.”

“We are excited to partner with Xcel Energy on this important project that will support the local economy with meaningful jobs, landowner payments and tax revenue and provide renewable energy to Minnesota consumers,” said Kevin Parzyck, Invenergy’s vice president of Business Development for the Central Region. “Invenergy applauds both Xcel Energy and the State of Minnesota on their renewable energy leadership.”

If approved by regulators, Xcel Energy will begin building the wind farms upon completion of the permitting process, expected by mid-2017. The projects are expected to be in service by 2020, enabling the company to secure the 100 percent production tax credit and pass the savings on to customers.

In September, Xcel Energy asked for proposals for up to 1,500 MW of wind energy to serve the Upper Midwest. The company will evaluate the proposals and negotiate with the winning bidders. The projects, along with the ones announced today, will require Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approval.

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