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Xcel unveils new wind projects, plans 1.55 GW in Upper Midwest

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

March 16 (Renewables Now) - US utility Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) today provided details about seven wind farms, representing 1.55 GW of total capacity and over USD 2.5 billion (EUR 2.33bn) in capital investments, to be built in the Upper Midwest.

Xcel said in a statement that its proposal is the company’s largest to date when it comes to wind power. The plan includes 750 MW of self-build projects, unveiled in October 2016, and 800 MW of newly-proposed schemes.

The list of new projects starts with the Crowned Ridge scheme in South Dakota’s Codington, Deuel and Grant counties. The proposal includes a 300-MW build-own-transfer project and a 300-MW purchased power agreement (PPA). The developer is a unit of NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE).

The second one is known as the Lake Benton wind project. It is a 100-MW build-own-transfer scheme developed by a NextEra Energy subsidiary in Pipestone County, Minnesota.

Last but not least is the 100-MW Clean Energy 1 wind project in North Dakota for which Allete Clean Energy just announced it has signed a 20-year PPA with Xcel. The subsidiary of Minnesota-based energy company Allete Inc (NYSE:ALE) will build, own and operate that plant to the north of Glen Ullin in Morton and Mercer counties.

Allete Clean Energy said in its own statement that the Clean Energy 1 scheme will enter construction in 2018. The company will use wind turbines purchased last year in order to qualify for federal renewable energy production tax credits.

Xcel said that all of the above-mentioned projects, if approved by regulators, will be in service by 2020.

“We’re significantly increasing the amount of wind generation on our system in part due to the recent completion of Midwest transmission projects that connect wind-rich areas to our customers,” said Chris Clark, president of Xcel Energy-Minnesota.

The company targets 63% carbon-free energy by 2030. It estimates that the proposed wind projects will save over USD 4 billion in fuel and other costs over their life.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.932)

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Ivan is the mergers and acquisitions expert in Renewables Now with a passion for big deals and ambitious capacity plans.

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