Minneapolis, Minnesota [RenewableEnergyAccess.com Xcel Energy asked Minnesota regulators for permission to build and own a 100-megawatt (MW) wind farm near Austin, Minnesota. The proposed Grand Meadow Wind Farm would be the first wind farm in Minnesota owned by Xcel Energy and would be operational by the end of 2008.
“Developing this renewable energy resource will help Xcel Energy further our commitment to preserve and protect the environment while meeting our customers’ growing electricity needs,” said Dave Sparby, acting president and CEO of Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company.
Xcel Energy has contracted with enXco Development Corp., an EDF-EN Company, to build the 100-MW wind farm on a site under development by enXco. The project is expected to consist of 67, 1.5-MW wind turbines on approximately 40 square miles. enXco filed a separate site permit for the wind farm, which is capable of supporting up to 200 MW of wind generation, the balance of which could also be used to meet Minnesota’s energy needs.
In Minnesota, Xcel Energy currently receives approximately 675 MW of electricity from wind and plans to add 500 MW of wind power under the Community-Based Energy Development (C-BED) program by 2010.
For the second year in a row, the American Wind Energy Association has ranked Xcel Energy as the No. 1 wind power provider in the nation. The company plans to have at least 2,800 megawatts of wind energy generation on-line by the end of the year throughout its eight-state service territory.