Xcel Energy has taken over development of the 200MW Blazing Star wind project in Minnesota from Geronimo Energy.

Xcel Energy

Image: Xcel Energy buys 200MW wind project under development. Photo: Courtesy of Martin Boose/FreeImages.com

Geronimo Energy carried out initial project development, while Xcel will now construct, own and operate the Blazing Star wind farm, situated in Lincoln County near the South Dakota border.

The acquisition is part of Xcel Energy’s  goal to achieve 85% of clean energy by 2030 in the Upper Midwest.

The company’s plan also includes the addition of 1.85GW of wind energy across Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota and Iowa.

Construction of the Blazing Star wind project, which will generate enough electricity to power over 100,000 homes, will take place in 2018-2019

The facility will connect to the CapX2020 transmission lines. Construction on substations and transmission infrastructure will start this year.

Xcel Energy-Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota president Chris Clark said: “Our customers want low-cost clean energy, and building projects like Blazing Star will help keep bills low while reducing carbon emissions. Blazing Star Wind will provide value to landowners, the local community and our customers who use the electricity it provides.”

The company has introduced ‘steel for fuel’ strategy under which it plans to keep the energy bills lower for its customers by investing in low cost wind energy.

Clark  said: “Our vision to achieve nation-leading carbon reduction goals while keeping bills low is good for our customers and our communities.

“The Buffalo Ridge area boasts one of the strongest, most consistent wind resources in the world. The wind energy we build here will be a great source of carbon-free energy for our customers and the region.”

The wind farm is expected to generate significant benefits for the local community including an estimated $32m in landowner payments over the next 25 years and more than $20m in local taxes.

Geronimo Energy president David Reamer said: “Geronimo Energy’s community-driven, farmer-friendly mission is aligned with Xcel Energy’s commitment to the communities it serves.

“Blazing Star marks Geronimo’s fifth wind project it has partnered with Xcel Energy on, and we are excited to see this project begin construction and move forward towards contributing to the local and statewide communities and economies.”