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 in south-central North Dakota.
Located in Dickey County, the 150 MW wind farm is part of the company’s vision to achieve 85% clean energy by 2030 by adding 1.85 GW of renewable energy in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. Xcel Energy says its “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.
“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,” states Chris Clark, president for Xcel Energy Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. “Foxtail Wind will provide value to the landowners, the local community and customers who use the electricity it generates.”
The Foxtail Wind project, developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, will provide enough energy to power about 79,000 average Midwest homes. Construction begins this summer, when foundations will be poured. The wind turbines will be installed and come online in 2019.
Approximately 100 construction workers will build the project in 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,” says Mike O’Sullivan, senior vice president of development for NextEra Energy Resources. “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, N.D.-based Wanzek Construction will build the project. Wanzek has built more than 90 wind farms, nearing 10 GW, throughout the country.