enXco and Xcel Energy say the 201 MW Nobles Wind Project in southwestern Minnesota is fully operational and supplying electricity to the regional transmission grid.
The wind farm, located in Nobles County, consists of 134 1.5 MW GE turbines.
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 MW of capacity for Xcel Energy through either build/transfer arrangements or power purchase agreements. Once each project is completed, ownership transfers to Northern States Power – Minnesota, which is owned by Xcel.Â
Xcel Energy also owns Grand Meadow Wind Farm in southeastern Minnesota's Mower County. A third company-owned wind project, the 150 MW Merricourt wind project, is currently under development by enXco in southeastern North Dakota.Â Â
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 portfolio standard.Â
With the addition of Nobles, Xcel Energy receives energy from nearly 1,500 MW of wind-powered generation on its Upper Midwest system. The company's plans include an inventory of approximately 3,000 MW of both owned and purchased wind power capacity in the Upper Midwest by 2020.Â Â