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Xcel Energy and enXco, an EDF Energies Nouvelles company, has announced plans to develop 351 MW of wind power in Minnesota and North Dakota by the end of 2011, increasing the utility's wind power resources by more than 10% company wide. Once developed, project ownership will be transferred to Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota (NSP-Minnesota), an Xcel Energy company.

The agreement between enXco and NSP-Minnesota targets approximately $900 million in investment over three years and underscores Xcel Energy's strong commitment to renewable energy and the states it serves. It stems from a competitive bidding process Xcel Energy launched late last year as part of its plan to meet state renewable requirements.

Under the agreement, Xcel Energy will seek regulatory approvals to develop a 201 MW project in southwestern Minnesota's Nobles County - the Nobles Wind Project - and a 150 MW project in Dickey and McIntosh counties in southeastern North Dakota - the Merricourt Wind Project. The projects are expected to be operational by the end of 2010 and 2011, respectively.

"Wind power has great potential for providing clean, renewable energy," says Gov. Tim Pawlenty, R-Minn. "Xcel Energy's leadership is very important as we work to meet Minnesota's goal of securing 25 percent of our energy from renewable sources by the year 2025. More wind power in Minnesota means more clean energy and additional opportunities to create green jobs related to this type of development."

In addition to these proposed wind farms, Xcel Energy is aiming to complete contracts for additional community-based energy development wind projects in Minnesota. If successful, the individual projects could begin operating in 2009.

SOURCE: Xcel Energy



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