Xcel Energy's 1,550MW windpower additions approved

Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in the US has approved Xcel Energy’s plan to include 1,550MW of new wind energy in the Midwest region.

The expansion plan includes construction of seven new windfarms and will be reviewed by North Dakota Public Service Commission later this year.

The proposed farms are expected to be developed in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. They are planned to be operational by the end of 2020.

Once completed, the projects will provide enough energy to power more than 800,000 homes and are set to increase Xcel Energy’s regional wind output by around 70%.

Xcel Energy's Minnesota president Chris Clark said: “We’re investing in low-cost wind energy to provide the benefits of clean, affordable energy directly to our customers.

"These projects deliver on our plan to keep energy costs low."

“These projects deliver on our plan to keep energy costs low, while also reducing carbon emissions by more than 60% in the coming decades.

“Our strategy delivers the long-term value our customers tell us they want. These projects give our customers both lower bills over the long term and predictable prices, in addition to a cleaner energy mix.”

Each of the seven windfarms is designed for a lifespan of 25 years. Xcel Energy will own 1,150MW of the generation and will buy the remaining 400MW under long-term power purchase agreements.

The company currently provides retail electric services to around 1.2 million customers in Minnesota, US.