July 10 (Renewables Now) - Regulators in Minnesota have given the green light to Xcel Energy’s (NYSE:XEL) ambitious plan to add 1,550 MW of new wind power capacity in the Upper Midwest region.
The proposal envisages the construction of seven wind farms in Iowa, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, the utility said on Friday. The facilities are scheduled to become operational by end-2020 and qualify for the Production Tax Credit (PTC). They are expected to have a combined output equivalent to the consumption of over 800,000 homes per year.
Xcel Energy will own 1,150 MW of the total capacity, while the remaining 400 MW will be secured through long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs).
“These projects deliver on our plan to keep energy costs low while also reducing carbon emissions by more than 60 percent in the coming decades,” said Chris Clark, president of Xcel Energy-Minnesota.
Xcel Energy has submitted proposals for the 200-MW Freeborn wind park in Minnesota and Iowa, the 150-MW Foxtail and 100-MW Clean Energy 1 parks in North Dakota. The list also includes the Blazing Star 1 and 2 wind farms, each with a capacity of 200 MW, as well as the 100-MW Lake Benton plant in Minnesota. The largest project, called the Crowned Ridge, calls for a 600-MW wind farm in South Dakota.
The plan was approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and will need to be reviewed by the North Dakota Public Service Commission later this year.