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Location: Southwestern Minnesota, near the South Dakota border.
Plant Description: 450 wind turbines owned by various developers, from whom Xcel Energy and other utilities purchase power.
Power Production Capabilities: Up to 300 megawatts (MW).
About Buffalo Ridge: Northern States Power Company (NSP), now an Xcel Energy operating company, originally installed three 65-kilowatt wind turbines in the late 1980s near Lake Benton, Minn., as part of a research project.
The area selected, Buffalo Ridge, is now a leading region for wind generation in the nation, and is one of the region's highest and windiest locations. The ridge was created by ancient glacial action and forms a divide between the Missouri and Mississippi river basins. The average wind speed is 16.1 miles per hour — about 2 mph greater than 14 other sites that were assessed.
We've made a series of transmission improvements to carry additional wind power.
Our products and services differ based on state. Please select your state (or the state you're interested in) from the list to the left.
Why do our products and services differ based on state? Because our business is regulated by state. We have regulated operations in eight Western and Midwestern states. The different regulatory body for each state we serve determines what products and services we deliver in that state.