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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 Meadow, Nobles and Pleasant Valley wind farms in Minnesota and Border, Courtenay 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.
Courtenay Wind Farm in North Dakota was completed in 2016 and took just 15 months to build.
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.
You have been selected to participate in a brief survey to help us improve our site.
By selecting YES, an additional window will open to allow you to take the survey at the conclusion of your visit. Please do not close it if you would like to participate.