Minneapolis, Minnesota (September 27, 2017) – Xcel Energy announced plans today to build and own a new 300-megawatt wind farm in South Dakota, adding to the company’s nation-leading wind expansion strategy. This project puts Xcel Energy on pace to be the first utility in the nation to surpass 10,000 megawatts of wind on its system, which would be more than enough clean energy to power every home in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The Dakota Range I and II project, developed by Apex Clean Energy, is the first publicly announced wind project to advance under the phase down of federal tax credits. Even without full tax credit, the project’s cost is low enough to compete with other fuel sources, an investment that is expected to lower customer bills over the project’s life.
“This is a milestone for our industry and our customers,” said Ben Fowke, chairman, president and CEO. “Wind provides the clean, competitively priced energy our customers want. This project proves we can keep driving the clean energy transition of our supply mix while keeping customer bills low, even as incentives phase out.”
“Partnering with utilities is one of the principal ways Apex is achieving its mission to accelerate the shift to clean energy,” said Mark Goodwin, president and CEO of Apex. “Dakota Range Wind is an ideal fit for the Xcel Energy generation portfolio. Together, we will provide new local jobs and a significant source of long-term revenue for Grant and Codington counties, helping drive the South Dakota economy forward.”
Xcel Energy is already the nation’s No.1 utility wind provider, a ranking it’s held for more than a decade. This new proposal comes during “National Clean Energy Week,” which recognizes the clean energy industry’s three million jobs and the value clean energy technologies bring to communities across the country.
“Xcel Energy is a pioneering leader in wind energy and we commend the company’s ground-breaking work that makes wind energy affordable now and continues to drive down its cost,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “The Dakota Range project is important because it shows us that the American wind industry continues to deliver clean, reliable, cost-competitive energy even as the value of the production tax credit is reduced.”
The Dakota Range project, which will use Vestas turbines, is expected to be operational in 2021, pending regulatory approval. This increases Xcel Energy’s current wind proposals nationwide to 3,680 megawatts at 13 wind farms in seven states, adding to its largest multi-state wind investment in the country. These projects expand Xcel Energy’s wind portfolio 55 percent company wide.
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About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices. For more information, visit xcelenergy.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Certain information contained in this release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning the expected development of future wind projects, investment amounts and expected fuel savings. Xcel Energy cautions that certain factors can cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information which is subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Xcel Energy’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2016 may cause results to differ: the ability to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses, and to satisfy any operational and environmental performance standards; cost overruns; and the ability to satisfy the requirements of tax credits and other incentives. Xcel Energy expressly disclaims any obligation to update any such forward-looking information.
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