Xcel Energy has announced plans to build and own a new 300 MW wind farm in South Dakota, the Dakota Range I and II project, developed by Apex Clean Energy.
The Dakota Range I and II project is the first publicly announced wind project to advance under the phase-down of federal tax credits, says Xcel. Even without the full tax credit, the project’s cost is low enough to compete with other fuel sources, the company claims.
“Partnering with utilities is one of the principal ways Apex is achieving its mission to accelerate the shift to clean energy,” states 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.”
The Dakota Range project, which will use Vestas turbines, is expected to be operational in 2021, pending regulatory approval. This would increase Xcel Energy’s current wind proposals nationwide to 3,680 MW at 13 wind farms in seven states.
Notably, the project puts Xcel Energy on pace to be the first utility in the nation to surpass 10 GW of wind on its system – which would be more than enough clean energy to power every home in Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to the company.
“Xcel Energy is a pioneering leader in wind energy, and we commend the company’s groundbreaking work that makes wind energy affordable now and continues to drive down its cost,” says 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.”