RES America Developments Inc., a subsidiary of Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. (RES Americas), is working with Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) to construct the 200 megawatt (MW) Pleasant Valley wind power farm. The project is near Austin, Minnesota, adjacent to the Grand Meadow wind project owned by Xcel Energy.
RES Americas will continue its role as developer and constructor of Pleasant Valley. Once the project is complete, RES Americas will transfer ownership of Pleasant Valley to Xcel Energy, who will own and operate the project. The development and construction schedules remain on track to be completed by the end of 2015, with development activities into 2014 and plans to break ground in mid-2014.
Pleasant Valley Wind Farm is part of 600 MW of wind power recently announced by Xcel Energy in its Upper Midwest service territory. Following a request for proposals in February, Xcel Energy selected Pleasant Valley and two other projects to submit to regulators for review. Xcel Energy submitted the projects to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and the North Dakota Public Service Commission for consideration and notified regulators in South Dakota, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Combined, the projects will produce enough renewable energy to serve 180,000 homes and over the lives of the projects, lower customer costs by $180 million. At the same time, the projects will reduce carbon emissions by 1.2 million tons each year in Xcel Energy's Upper Midwest service territory, where the company already is on track to reduce carbon emissions 30 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels.