Xcel proposes to build Foxtail Wind Farm in two phases between 2018, 2019

wind farm november 22 elp

Foxtail Wind, a unit of NextEra Energy Resources, filed with the North Dakota Public Service Commission its Ten Year Plan for years 2017 through 2027 for the proposed Foxtail Wind Farm Project.

Foxtail is developing a wind power project with a nameplate capacity of up to 150 MW in Dickey County, N.D. The proposed project would consist of up to 75 wind turbines using Hybrid Vestas V-116 and Vestas V-110 turbine generators, Foxtail said, adding that additional facilities include access roads, underground electrical collection systems and cabling, a collection substation, an operation and maintenance building, a meteorological evaluation tower, a construction laydown area, a batch plant, and a switchyard.

Following receipt of a certificate of site compatibility from the commission, Foxtail and Northern States Power Co., doing business as Xcel Energy, would seek commission approval to transfer the certificate to NSP/Xcel. Subject to that approval, the company added, the project would be built and operated by Xcel.

Foxtail said that it and Xcel are collaborating on the development of the project to reflect the engineering and design inputs necessary to transfer ownership of the project to Xcel at the end of this year, according to the executed purchase & sale agreement. Xcel currently proposes to build the project in two phases between 2018 and 2019, the company said.

The proposed wind farm would encompass an approximately 20,029 acres of land in western Dickey County, Foxtail said, adding that the amount of land within the project area participating in the project is 17,983 acres. While the turbines would be placed throughout the participating land within the project area, the permanent project structures would occupy up to 97.74 acres during operation, or less than 1 percent of the total project area.

Foxtail also said that the wind farm would interconnect with the Montana-Dakota Utilities (MDU) transmission system at the MDU 230-kV Ellendale-Tatanka transmission line at a new substation. While the project does not have a transmission line that would require separate permitting, an overhead wire tap would connect the collection substation to the point of interconnect on the same parcel, Foxtail said.

The project interconnection would benefit from the Big Stone South-Brookings County 345-kV line, which was recently completed.

The project was studied under the Midcontinent ISO’s (MISO) August 2014 Definitive Planning Phase Study Cycle, the company added.

Among other things, Foxtail said that due partly to high heating demand in winter, North Dakota’s per capita energy consumption is among the highest in the nation; nearly 40 percent of the state’s households use electricity as their primary energy source for home heating.

Xcel proposes to continue transitioning from coal to renewables and natural gas – including 35 percent renewable energy from wind and solar by 2030 – in its Upper Midwest 2016-2030 Resource Plan. Thus, Foxtail added, demand for wind energy in the region is expected to remain strong in coming years.

Foxtail noted that a regional need exists for renewable energy produced in North Dakota, adding that nearly every state in the MISO west, central, and east regions has renewable portfolio standards or a voluntary renewable energy standard or target. According to the MISO Transmission Expansion Plan for 2016, the MISO region needs to add between 11,400 MW and 79,900 MW to maintain planning reliability targets through 2030, Foxtail said.

From 2016 onward, 11,900 MW to 37,300 MW of retirements of mostly fossil fueled power plants are assumed to occur, Foxtail said. In addition, depending on the projection scenario, MISO assumes anywhere from 3,600 MW to 25,800 MW of incremental wind penetration during that period, Foxtail said.

The proposed project would help to increase the renewable portion of NSP/Xcel’s power generating portfolio and help meet Xcel members’ energy needs, while keeping member electricity rates low, Foxtail said.

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