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Upper Midwest Wind Power

Serving customers with a leading portfolio of wind resources.

We are harnessing some of the best wind resources in the country to deliver clean, low-cost renewable energy to our customers in the Upper Midwest. In 2019, wind energy supplied 15% of our power in the region, and under our proposed plans, we expect this will nearly double by 2022.

The Wind Energy Advantage

Wind power is clean, renewable energy

It requires no fuel or water, and in 2019 helped to avoid approximately 3.5 million tons of carbon dioxide, as well as other emissions, on our Upper Midwest system.

Wind energy is affordable 

As turbine technology improves, wind prices continue to decline, and in the long run, the wind on our system will save customers money and protect them from rising fuel costs in the future.

A local energy source

For rural communities that are home to wind farms, the projects produce new tax revenues for helping fund schools and other services. They also provide jobs and new revenue sources for landowners, who are typically farmers and ranchers.

 Have questions about wind energy? Check out our Q&A

Today's wind turbines are larger, quieter and more efficient. Learn more.

Investing in the Future

We have announced specific plans to grow our Upper Midwest wind by 75%. In the Upper Midwest, Xcel Energy’s nation-leading wind expansion brings 12 new wind farms in four states. The new wind farms will supply more than 1,970 megawatts of clean, renewable energy — enough to power nearly a million homes every year — while saving customers billions of dollars over the lives of the projects. The new low-cost wind energy will serve customers across our Upper Midwest states, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Michigan.

Learn more about the Foxtail Wind Farm.

Learn more about Freeborn Wind.

Learn more about Blazing Star Wind.

Learn more about Dakota Range Wind.

Learn more about our wind plans

Wind Operations Today

We currently manage nearly 3,000 megawatts of wind generation in the region, or enough clean wind capacity to power about 1.6 million average-size homes for a year.

We own and operate eight wind farms in the Upper Midwest, totaling more than 1,300 megawatts of wind capacity: Blazing Star 1, Lake Benton, Grand MeadowNobles and Pleasant Valley wind farms in Minnesota and BorderCourtenay and Foxtail wind farms in North Dakota. We will own and operate five more wind farms currently approved or under construction. The remainder of our wind power is purchased from independent suppliers under long-term contracts.

With more wind resources on our system, we continue to improve system operations and show that wind can be part of 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.

 

Building a Wind Farm

Courtenay Wind Farm in North Dakota was completed in 2016 and took just 15 months to build.

Offering Customers More

Wind power is clean, renewable energy. It requires no fuel or water and produces no carbon dioxide or other emissions on our Upper Midwest system. For customers who want more, we offer renewable energy options in most states to give customers the option to purchase up to 100% renewable energy.

Customer Concerns

If you have concerns about one of Xcel Energy's wind farms in the Upper Midwest, please email us.

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Energy Saving Tip

Make sure to regularly change the air filters on your HVAC system (at least once per month). Old, clogged filters are far less efficient than new ones.

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Break Ground, Not the Law

Always call 811 before digging in your yard to avoid hitting buried gas or electric lines. Not only is it the safe thing to do, but it's the law.