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Xcel Energy plans to build 300MW wind project in South Dakota

CTBR Staff Writer Published 28 September 2017

Minnesota-based utility company Xcel Energy is planning to build a 300MW wind project in the US state of South Dakota.

The wind project, named Dakota Range I and II project will be developed by Apex Clean Energy, still needs regulatory approval. Expected to be operational in 2021, the wind project will be one of the first publicly announced projects to advance under phase down of federal tax credits.

Xcel Energy said, even without having tax credits, the cost of the wind farm is expected to be low enough to compete with other fuel sources. Lower investment cost can help in keeping consumers costs lower over the project’s life.

The Dakota Range project is expected to use wind turbines from Vestas. Make and model of the wind turbines and the number of turbines are yet to be decided.

Xcel Energy chairman, president and CEO Ben Fowke said: “This is a milestone for our industry and our customers.

“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.”

Xcel Energy claims that with this project, the company becomes the first utility in the country to have more than 10GW of wind power in its system. With the project, the wind projects with pending regulatory approvals have grown to 3.6GW across 13 wind farms in seven states in the country.

Apex Clean Energy president and CEO Mark Goodwin said: “Partnering with utilities is one of the principal ways Apex is achieving its mission to accelerate the shift to clean energy.

“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.”

In August, Xcel Energy in a coalition of 14 diverse groups has filed a petition with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to approve a process which could lead to an investment of $2.5bn in clean energy investments in the state.

Image: Dakota Range project is expected to use wind turbines from Vestas. Photo: Courtesy of Attilio Lombardo/FreeImages.com.