Xcel Energy has announced plans to upgrade the Grand Meadows Wind Farm with new technology 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. Xcel Energy is proposing to upgrade four wind farms it currently owns and purchase energy from three other wind projects through power purchase agreements.
The seven 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.
The Grand Meadows upgrade would include adding longer blades, increasing the rotor diameter from 77 meters to 97 meters, and upgrading other components within the turbine. No new wind turbines would be added and the existing access roads and underground power lines (collection lines) would not be changed. The project would require Xcel Energy to operate a crane at each existing wind turbine site, crossing fields as necessary to move the crane from wind turbine to wind turbine. View project fact sheet.
Construction would take place in 2023 with a late spring start and be complete by the end of 2023. Restoration activities may continue into 2024 depending on the weather.
Xcel Energy land agents and contractors will be reaching out to affected landowners in 2020.
The wind farm spans a stretch of farm fields six miles long and four miles wide, and is spread out over roughly 10,000 acres southeast of Interstate 90 three miles north and three miles south of Hwy 16, in Grand Meadow, Clayton, and Dexter Townships in Mower County.
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