Xcel Energy announced plans to build and own a new 300-MW wind farm in South Dakota, adding to the company’s nation-leading wind expansion strategy. This project puts Xcel Energy on pace to be the first utility in the nation to surpass 10,000 MW of wind on its system, which would be more than enough clean energy to power every home in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The Dakota Range I and II project, developed by Apex Clean Energy, is the first publicly announced wind project to advance under the phase down of federal tax credits. Even without a full tax credit, the project’s cost is low enough to compete with other fuel sources, an investment that is expected to lower customer bills over the project’s life.
“This is a milestone for our industry and our customers,” said Ben Fowke, Chairman, President, and CEO. “Wind provides the clean, competitively priced energy our customers want. This project proves we can keep driving the clean energy transition of our supply mix while keeping customer bills low, even as incentives phase out.”
“Partnering with utilities is one of the principal ways Apex is achieving its mission to accelerate the shift to clean energy,” said Mark Goodwin, President, and CEO of Apex. “Dakota Range Wind is an ideal fit for the Xcel Energy generation portfolio. Together, we will provide new local jobs and a significant source of long-term revenue for Grant and Codington counties, helping drive the South Dakota economy forward.”
Xcel Energy is already the nation’s number one utility wind provider, a ranking it’s held for more than a decade. This new proposal comes during “National Clean Energy Week,” which recognizes the clean energy industry’s three million jobs and the value clean energy technologies bring to communities across the country.
“Xcel Energy is a pioneering leader in wind energy and we commend the company’s ground-breaking work that makes wind energy affordable now and continues to drive down its cost,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “The Dakota Range project is important because it shows us that the American wind industry continues to deliver clean, reliable, cost-competitive energy even as the value of the production tax credit is reduced.”
The Dakota Range project, which will use Vestas turbines, is expected to be operational in 2021, pending regulatory approval. This increases Xcel Energy’s current wind proposals nationwide to 3,680 megawatts at 13 wind farms in seven states, adding to its largest multi-state wind investment in the country. These projects expand Xcel Energy’s wind portfolio 55% company-wide.
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