We are fortunate to operate in parts of the country rich in wind, and we’re putting this resource to work for customers. As a national leader in wind power for over a decade, more than 20 percent of our energy supply company-wide comes from wind energy — about seven times the wind generation on our system than in 2005.
We have announced plans to increase our wind portfolio 55 percent by the end of 2021. Twelve new wind farms in seven states will add nearly 3,700 megawatts of wind capacity to our system
The cost of wind power has fallen as turbine technology improves. Given current low prices and available tax credits, now is the time to invest in wind to benefit customers. We find that the cost to build a wind farm is offset by future fuel savings, providing our customers with affordable clean energy for years to come.
Wind power is clean, renewable energy. It requires no fuel or water, and in 2017, helped to avoid approximately 12.8 million tons of carbon dioxide, and other emissions on our system. For customers who want more, we offer Windsource®, one of the largest voluntary green energy programs in the country. Windsource gives customers the option to purchase up to 100 percent renewable energy in most of the states we serve.
With more wind resources on our system, we continue to improve our operations and show that wind can contribute to a reliable power system. For example, we helped develop some of the most advanced wind forecasting tools available. Because we can use these tools to better predict wind generation, we can power down fossil fuel plants on windy days, saving millions of dollars in fuel costs.
Until now, we have purchased most of our wind power from other suppliers under long-term contracts. This is changing as we plan to own and operate more Xcel Energy wind farms. We now own five wind farms totaling about 850 megawatts in the Upper Midwest—Border, Courtenay, Grand Meadow, Nobles, and Pleasant Valley. In 2018, our new 600-megawatt Rush Creek Wind Project began serving customers in Colorado.
Have questions about wind energy? Check out our Q&A.
Today's wind turbines are larger, quieter and more efficient. Learn more.
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