Xcel’s latest wind power project proceeds

October 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Xcel Energy is halfway to winning the regulatory approval it needs to move forward with a 750-megawatt wind energy project — enough to power about 200,000 homes.

The Minneapolis-based utility said Thursday that the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has signed off on the plan, which includes the construction of two wind farms in Minnesota and two more in North Dakota. The company expects the North Dakota Public Service Commission to consider the project by the end of the year.

“Wind energy is a clean, low-cost substitute for natural gas and other fuels right now,” said Dave Sparby, a senior vice president at Xcel Energy, in a statement. “These cost-competitive projects will save customers money by providing a valuable hedge to rising and volatile fuel prices well into the future.”

Sparby added that the projects will save Xcel customers “more than $225 million over the projects’ lives.”

The four wind farms proposed in the plan include Courtenay Wind Farm near Jamestown, N.D., the Odell Wind Farm near Windom, Minn., Pleasant Valley near Austin, Minn., and Border Winds Project in north central North Dakota near the Canadian border.

The Courtenay Wind Farm and the Odell Wind Farm will be built by Edina-based Geronimo Energy and the power they generate will be sold to Xcel under power purchase agreements.

The project would represent a 42 percent increase in Xcel’s 1,800 megawatts of wind production capacity.

All four wind farms are expected to begin operating by the end of 2015.

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