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enXco and Xcel Energy Announce Operation of Nobles Wind Project

published: 2010-12-30 15:47

enXco - an EDF Energies Nouvelles Company and Xcel Energy announced the new Nobles Wind Project in southwestern Minnesota is fully operational and supplying electricity to the regional transmission grid.

The 201-megawatt wind farm, located in Nobles County,consists of 134, 1.5-megawatt General Electric wind turbines generating enough power to serve approximately 66,500 homes.

 “The Nobles Wind Farm advances our efforts to provide our customers with more reasonably priced, renewable energy,” said Judy Poferl, president and CEO of Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company. “Developing wind resources, abundant in the Upper Midwest, will help meet our customers’ growing needs for electricity at a reasonable cost while minimizing impact on the environment.”

Xcel Energy also owns Grand Meadow Wind Farm in southeastern Minnesota’s Mower County.  A third company-owned wind project, the 150-megawatt Merricourt Wind Project, is currently under development by enXco in southeastern North Dakota. Merricourt is expected to be operational in late 2011 and represents the first major wind undertaking for enXco and Xcel Energy in North Dakota.  The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in June 2009 allowed Xcel Energy to include both the Nobles and Merricourt projects in its plan to meet the state’s Renewable Energy Standard.

Joint developments between enXco and Xcel Energy have resulted in a significant increase in wind resources on the utility’s system. The completion of the Nobles and Merricourt projects will bring the total to 784 megawatts of capacity for Xcel Energy through either build/transfer arrangementsor power purchase agreements. Once each project is completed, ownership transfers to NSP - Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company. Other projects constructed by enXco include Grand Meadow Wind Farm, Fenton Wind Farm, Viking Wind Farm and Chanarambie Wind Farm all in Minnesota, as well as Peetz Table Wind Farm in Colorado.

“enXco is once again pleased to extend our experience and successful relationship with Xcel Energy to bring the economic and renewable benefits from the Nobles Wind Project to their customers in the Upper Midwest. This project marks our sixth wind project to deliver electricity to Xcel Energy’s renewable energy portfolio,” said Steve Peluso, senior vice president of origination for enXco. “We look forward to being a continued partner with Xcel Energy and the communities of Minnesota to further our efforts to supply clean energy to the nation’s grid.”

With the addition of the Nobles Wind Farm, Xcel Energy receives energy from nearly 1,500 megawatts of wind-powered generation on its Upper Midwest system. Company plans include an inventory of approximately 3,000 megawatts of both owned and purchased wind power capacity in the Upper Midwest by 2020. Xcel Energy is the nation’s No. 1 wind power provider, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

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