Xcel Energy has announced plans to develop 1.55GW of new wind projects across the Upper Midwest states in the US, with an investment of $2.5bn.

The Minneapolis-based company plans to build seven wind farms across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa.

The total output of the seven wind farms will produce enough electricity to power at least 800,000 US homes. The wind farms are also expected to increase the company’s wind power portfolio by 60%.

Xcel Energy aims to bring capital investments for the projects that  include a combination of owned and power purchase agreements. It also plans to leverage federal production tax credits to secure low wind energy prices.

The seven wind projects could create about 1500 jobs during the construction phase and about 80 full time jobs once they become operational.  

The four projects with total production capacity of 750MW were proposed in last October. These include Freeborn Wind Energy, a 200 MW project located in Freeborn County, Minnesota, and Worth and Mitchell Counties, Iowa developed by Invenergy.

A 150MW Foxtail Wind project located in Dickey County, North Dakota, developed by NextEra Energy Resources, The other projects include Blazing Star 1 and 2, with a combined capacity of 400 MW, located in Lincoln County, Minnesota, developed by Geronimo Energy.  

The newly proposed projects have total capacity of 800MW and include Crowned Ridge Wind Project, a 300 MW build-own-transfer project and a 300 MW purchased power agreement. The project will be located in Codington, Deuel and Grant Counties, South Dakota, developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy

The other projects include Lake Benton Wind Project, a 100 MW build-own-transfer project in Pipestone County, Minnesota, developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy; and Clean Energy 1, a 100 MW power purchase agreement project in Morton and Mercer Counties, North Dakota, developed by ALLETE Clean Energy

The projects are expected to be in service by 2020, if they secure regulatory approvals from state and local authorities.

Image: Xcel Energy proposes to build wind farms of 1.55GW in the US. Photo: Courtesy of dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net