The investment will bring the total amount of wind power in Xcel’s energy mix to 35 percent, the utility said.
“We’re investing big in wind because of the tremendous economic value it brings to our customers. With wind energy at historic low prices, we can secure savings that will benefit customers now and for decades to come,” Xcel Energy President and CEO Ben Fowke said in a March 21 statement. “Our plan delivers on both economic and environmental fronts, as we provide customers the cleaner, renewable resources they want, while continuing to deliver the reliable and low-cost energy they need.”
Xcel Energy proposed a combination of owned wind farms and power purchase agreements. The company anticipates investing a significant amount in wind generation over the next five years to build company-owned wind projects.
The utility said it has submitted a proposal to regulators to add 1,230 MW of new wind energy in Texas and New Mexico, with the majority owned by the company. It plans to build two wind farms and buy wind energy from another facility through a long-term contract. The projects are expected to save the region’s customers about $2.8 billion over a 30-year period.
In addition, Xcel said it has launched its largest-ever wind expansion in the Upper Midwest, with a proposal to add seven new wind farms in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa. The plan brings an additional 1,550 MW of new wind energy to its Upper Midwest system, with most of the projects being company owned.
In Colorado, construction is set to begin this spring on the Rush Creek Wind Farm, which is the largest wind farm of its kind in the state, the utility said.
The projects included in the expansion plan are:
- Sagamore Wind, a 522-MW self-build project located in Roosevelt County, New Mexico, developed by Invenergy,
- Hale Wind, a 478-MW self-build project located in Hale County, Texas, developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources,
- Bonita, a 230-MW power purchase agreement project in Cochran and Crosby Counties, Texas, developed by NextEra Energy Resources,
- Freeborn Wind Energy, a 200-MW self-build project located in Freeborn County, Minnesota, and Worth and Mitchell Counties, Iowa, developed by Invenergy,
- Foxtail Wind, a 150-MW self-build project located in Dickey County, North Dakota, developed by NextEra Energy Resources,
- Blazing Star 1, a-200 MW self-build project located in Lincoln County, Minnesota, developed by Geronimo Energy,
- Blazing Star 2, a 200-MW self-build project located in Lincoln County, Minnesota, developed by Geronimo Energy,
- Crowned Ridge Wind Project, a 300-MW build-own-transfer project and a 300-MW power purchase agreement. The project will be located in Codington, Deuel and Grant Counties, South Dakota, developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources,
- Lake Benton Wind Project, a 100-MW build-own-transfer project in Pipestone County, Minnesota, developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources,
- Clean Energy 1, a 100-MW power purchase agreement project in Morton and Mercer Counties, North Dakota, developed by ALLETE Clean Energy,
- Rush Creek, a 600-MW self-build project in Cheyenne, Elbert, Kit Carson and Lincoln Counties, Colorado, developed by Invenergy.
All projects are in various stages of regulatory approval, Xcel said.
Lead image credit: Joshua Heyer | Flickr