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Xcel Energy is proposing a 150 MW wind farm in north-central North Dakota.

According to Xcel, the Border Winds Project, located in Rolette County in north-central North Dakota, near the Canadian border, is the fourth new wind resource proposed by the company in its Upper Midwest service territory in the last month, and it brings 750 MW of total new capacity proposed by Xcel in the region. RES America Developments Inc. would develop the project and then transfer ownership to Xcel.

Combined with earlier proposals in the company’s Colorado and Texas/New Mexico service areas, Xcel Energy has proposed adding a total of at least 1.7 GW of wind resources, a 30% increase in overall wind capacity.

According to Xcel, Border Winds Project would reduce customer costs by an estimated $45 million over the project’s life. The total amount saved from the four Upper Midwest projects is expected to be more than $220 million.

In July, Xcel Energy requested approval of three wind projects in its NSP territory: power purchase agreements with the 200 MW Odell Wind Farm near Windom, Minn., and the 200 MW Courtenay Wind Farm, located near Jamestown, N.D., and a sales agreement with RES America Developments Inc. for the 200 MW Pleasant Valley Wind Project, located near Austin, Minn.

Construction on the projects will begin immediately in order to qualify for the extended federal renewable energy production tax credit. All four projects are scheduled to be in service by the beginning of 2016.

Xcel Energy submitted the projects to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and the North Dakota Public Service Commission for consideration. Decisions on the proposals are expected by late fall.


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