Xcel Energy gets clearance in Minnesota for wind repowerings

Wind farm in USA. Author: Brian Jeffery Beggerly. License: Creative Commons. Attribution-2.0 Generic

December 28 (Renewables Now) - Regulators in the state of Minnesota have given the green light to Xcel Energy Inc (NASDAQ:XEL) for a portfolio of five wind repowering projects that will lead to about USD 850 million (EUR 695m) of direct investments.

The utility holding company earlier this year unveiled plans to rebuild three wind farms in Minnesota and one in North Dakota itself, while also supporting three smaller repowerings through long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs). These projects represent a combined capacity of 720 MW and would support the economic recovery of the Upper Midwest from the impact of the pandemic.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) announced before Christmas that it has approved a slightly reduced portfolio of four self-builds and only one PPA because Xcel has failed to sign contracts for two of the three smaller projects.

According to the commission, the overall plan will save Xcel ratepayers throughout the region over USD 200 million in costs thanks to lower fuel purchases and improved operations efficiency at the repowered wind farms.

More information about the four self-builds is available in the table below.

Project name Capacity Location
Grand Meadows Wind 100.5 MW Mower County, Minnesota
Nobles Wind 201 MW Nobles County, Minnesota
Border Wind 150 MW Rolette County, North Dakota
Pleasant Valley Wind 200 MW Mower County, Minnesota

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.818)

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