Xcel Energy celebrated the construction of its newest 150-MW wind facility in central North Dakota. The event featured local landowners, company representatives, U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, and other state and local officials.
The Foxtail Wind project will provide low-cost wind energy to nearly 80,000 homes when it’s completed next year. The project spans 35,000 acres, 99% of which will remain available for agricultural production. Construction started in summer of 2018.
“We’re investing in North Dakota with Foxtail Wind and other projects that will provide millions of dollars in local lease payments and property taxes and deliver clean energy for our customers,” said Chris Clark, President, Xcel Energy-Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota. “Xcel Energy is a national leader in wind energy, and this is a winning strategy for the customers and communities we serve.”
The project is part of a 1,850 MW portfolio of low-cost wind projects Xcel Energy is adding in the Upper Midwest over the next several years. The Foxtail Wind project will expand the company’s regional wind portfolio by 70% and is expected to save customers billions of dollars in fuel and other costs.
“In North Dakota there is no shortage of wind, and when we can harness this natural force, it powers homes and communities and creates thousands of jobs as part of a true all-of-the-above energy strategy,” said U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, who successfully negotiated a deal in 2015 to provide a long-term extension of a wind energy tax credit. “This reinforces what good can come when we make needed investments in wind energy development – both nationally and locally. Several years ago, I’m proud to have worked to successfully extend the wind energy tax credit which has boosted wind energy development and jobs across our state, and now we’re seeing the rewards for North Dakota.”
West Fargo-based Wanzek Construction, a subsidiary of MasTec, Inc., is building the project, installing the 75 concrete foundations this summer, and will erect the turbines and blades next year. The project will begin operating in late 2019.
“Wanzek is excited to begin construction on the Foxtail Wind Project, which will bring jobs and revenue to the local area,” said Chris Fox, Vice President of Construction with Wanzek Construction. “A significant amount of time and effort has gone into this project by all of the stakeholders involved to get to this point. As a North Dakota based company, we look forward to working on such a great project in our home state.”
Approximately 100 construction workers will build the Foxtail Wind project over 2018-2019, and an additional 10 workers will maintain and operate the facility. Local landowners will benefit from $30 million in lease payments over the next 30 years, and local governments will receive $20 million in property taxes to help support local infrastructure and facilities.
Filed Under: News, Projects