MINNEAPOLIS (Oct. 1, 2020) – Xcel Energy today announced plans to and upgrade older wind farms with new technology in the Upper Midwest as part of the company’s proposed $3 billion in incremental and accelerated investments to help the region’s economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19. The company will upgrade four wind farms it currently owns, and purchase the energy from three others through power purchase agreements.
The proposed projects will deliver 720 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy, enough to power more than 378,000 homes annually while providing landowners and local governments more than $9 million in annual tax and lease payments.
Upgrading the wind farms will save customers about $160 million in energy costs over the next 25 years and create up to 700 local, union construction jobs in addition to the indirect jobs provided by suppliers. Following construction, the wind farms will increase their annual energy output by approximately 20%, on average, compared to today.
The wind farms are located in Minnesota and North Dakota. By upgrading the wind farms with new, more efficient technology, the proposal will allow the wind farms to generate greater amounts of renewable energy every year and help the company deliver on its plan to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2030 while keeping bills low for customers.
“New technology will increase the amount of low-cost, carbon-free wind energy that our customers will receive, while saving millions of dollars and putting people back to work,” said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy-Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota. “These projects will provide benefits to our customers and communities in the near-term with good paying construction jobs, and in the long-term by saving money, using existing infrastructure and providing taxes and payments to landowners that host the updated wind turbines.”
Xcel Energy will rebuild several of the projects, including:
Other projects have been preliminarily chosen to be rebuilt and sell energy to the company through long-term power purchase agreements:
These projects are pending successful negotiations between Xcel Energy and developers. Construction is expected to begin in 2021 with completion dates ranging from 2021-2024. All projects are subject to regulatory approval.
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About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy (NASDAQ: 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.
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