MINNEAPOLIS (April 5, 2018) – Xcel Energy is continuing to transition its fleet to carbon-free energy in the Upper Midwest with the addition of the Foxtail Wind Energy Center located in Dickey County in south-central North Dakota. The 150-megawatt wind farm is part of the company’s vision to achieve 85 percent clean energy by 2030 by adding low-cost, clean energy with 1,850 megawatts of renewable energy located in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa.
“All customers want low-cost energy, and we’re investing in projects like the Foxtail Wind facility that will help keep bills low while adding investments that will benefit our customers in North Dakota and the Upper Midwest,” said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy—Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota. “Foxtail Wind will provide value to the landowners, the local community, and customers who use the electricity it generates.”
The Foxtail project is one of several renewable energy projects the company projects that put it on a path to produce 85 percent of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2030. The plan will also save customers billions of dollars in fuel and other costs in the coming decades. The ‘steel for fuel’ strategy is projected to keep customer bill increases below the rate of inflation by using low-cost wind energy and other investments as it transitions its generation fleet.
“Our vision to achieve nation-leading carbon reduction goals while keeping bills low is one that is good for our customers and our communities,” said Clark. “Wind generation, along with our existing nuclear plants, solar projects, and other carbon-free sources provide great value to our region.”
About Foxtail Wind Farm
The Foxtail Wind project, developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, will provide enough energy to power about 79,000 average Midwestern homes. Construction begins this summer when foundations will be poured. The wind turbines will be installed and come on line in 2019.
Approximately 100 construction workers will build the 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.
“We are pleased to build upon our strong partnership with Xcel Energy to bring more renewable energy to the region,” said Mike O’Sullivan, senior vice president of development for NextEra Energy Resources, the world’s largest operator of renewable energy projects from the wind and the sun. “The Foxtail Wind project is expected to bring millions of dollars in additional revenue to landowners and local communities as it generates clean, affordable energy to Xcel customers across the Midwest.”
The project will span about 20,000 acres and use 75 Vestas wind turbines. West Fargo, North Dakota-based Wanzek Construction will build the wind farm. Wanzek has built more than 90 wind farms throughout the country, nearing 10 gigawatts constructed.
“Wanzek is extremely excited to be building another project with Xcel Energy within the state of North Dakota”, said Chad Eken, Construction Account Executive for Wanzek Construction, “We look forward to the opportunity that this project brings for Wanzek to contribute and work within the local communities. With the start of construction activities nearing, this presents another opportunity for Wanzek, Xcel Energy and residents alike to complete a new source of renewable energy.”