Xcel Energy, the nation’s leading utility wind energy provider, has plans to make the largest multi-state investment in wind capacity in the country. The company has proposed 11 new wind farms in seven states, which would add a total of 3,380 megawatts of new wind generation to its system. The proposed plan significantly increases the amount of wind energy in the company’s energy mix by 2021, with wind fueling nearly 35 percent of its total energy mix. “We’re investing big in wind because of the tremendous economic value it brings to our customers. With wind energy at historic low prices, we can secure savings that will benefit customers now and for decades to come,” said Ben Fowke, chairman, president and CEO of Xcel Energy. “Our plan delivers on both economic and environmental fronts, as we provide customers the cleaner, renewable resources they want, while continuing to deliver the reliable and low-cost energy they need.”
Xcel Energy has proposed a combination of owned wind farms and power purchase agreements. The company anticipates investing a significant amount in wind generation over the next five years to build company-owned wind projects. Xcel Energy is using federal production tax credits to secure low wind energy prices as part of the company’s ‘steel for fuel’ strategy. Xcel Energy’s multi-state investment in wind expanded today as the company submitted a proposal to add 1,230 megawatts of new wind energy in Texas and New Mexico, with the majority owned by the company. It plans to build two wind farms and buy wind energy from another facility through a long-term contract. The projects are expected to save the region’s customers about $2.8 billion over a 30-year period.
Last week the company launched its largest-ever wind expansion in the Upper Midwest, with a proposal to add seven new wind farms in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa. The plan brings an additional 1,550 megawatts of new wind energy to its Upper Midwest system, with most of the projects being company owned. The proposed farms are expected to save more than $4 billion over the life of the projects. In Colorado, construction is set to begin this spring on the Rush Creek Wind Farm, which is the largest wind farm of its kind in the state. The project is expected to save Colorado customers about $1.1 billion over the life of the project. Xcel Energy expects to see at least a 45 percent reduction companywide in carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 2021, if it is able to fully implement approved and proposed renewable energy plans.
“Our plans allow us to harness the wind-rich resources we have in the states we serve and deliver outstanding economic value to our customers while delivering emissions-free energy that will reduce our carbon footprint,” said Fowke. Xcel Energy’s plans across its service territory are projected to generate nearly $400 million in property taxes over the life of the projects, and bring more than 2,000 construction or full-time jobs to the communities it serves.
All projects are in various stages of regulatory approval.
- Sagamore Wind, a 522 MW self-build project located in Roosevelt County, New Mexico developed by Invenergy
- Hale Wind, a 478 MW self-build project located in Hale County, Texas, developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources
- Bonita, a 230 MW power purchase agreement project in Cochran and Crosby Counties, Texas developed by NextEra Energy Resources
- Freeborn Wind Energy, a 200 MW self-build project located in Freeborn County, Minnesota, and Worth and Mitchell Counties, Iowa developed by Invenergy
- Foxtail Wind, a 150 MW self-build project located in Dickey County, North Dakota, developed by NextEra Energy Resources
- Blazing Star 1, a 200 MW self-build project located in Lincoln County, Minnesota, developed by Geronimo Energy
- Blazing Star 2, a 200 MW self-build project located in Lincoln County, Minnesota, developed by Geronimo Energy
- Crowned Ridge Wind Project, a 300 MW build-own-transfer project and a 300 MW power purchase agreement. The project will be located in Codington, Deuel and Grant Counties, South Dakota, developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources
- Lake Benton Wind Project, a 100 MW build-own-transfer project in Pipestone County, Minnesota, developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources
- Clean Energy 1, a 100 MW power purchase agreement project in Morton and Mercer Counties, North Dakota, developed by ALLETE Clean Energy
Rush Creek, a 600 MW self-build project in Cheyenne, Elbert, Kit Carson and Lincoln Counties, developed by Invenergy