Xcel Energy, (NYSE:XEL) is proposing to build four new wind projects in Minnesota and North Dakota that together could generate 750 MW.
The projects, which together will provide enough energy to power nearly 400,000 homes, are part of the company’s plan to move away from coal while delivering cost-effective energy to customers.
If approved by regulators, Xcel Energy will begin building the wind units 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% production tax credit (PTC) 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.
The new wind portfolio includes:
•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, an affiliate of NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE);
•Blazing Star 1, a 200 MW project located in Lincoln County, Minnesota, developed by Geronimo Energy, and;
•Blazing Star 2, a 200 MW project located in Lincoln County, Minnesota, developed by Geronimo Energy.
“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.”
“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% from 2005 levels,” said Clark.