Xcel wins OK to build 4 new wind farms

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune • Posted: Monday, October 21, 2013


Xcel Energy is poised to move forward with plans to build four Upper Midwest wind farms, which would increase the company’s wind power capacity in the region by 42 percent.The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission’s decision puts Xcel on track to meet deadlines for funding from the federal wind production tax credit.

Xcel’s wind farms are expected to generate enough power to support 200,000 homes and reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.5 million tons each year. Two of the projects would be built in North Dakota, and the other two would be built in Minnesota. Some of the projects still need additional regulatory approval, including by North Dakota utility regulators.

While Xcel wouldn’t say how much the projects would cost, the company did say the projects would save ratepayers $225 million during the projects’ life span.

“Wind energy is a clean, low-cost substitute for natural gas and other fuels right now,” Dave Sparby, Xcel’s regional chief executive, said in a statement (David Shaffer, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Oct. 18). — WW