Xcel Energy achieves wind energy milestone
Xcel Energy achieved a milestone at 3 a.m. Sunday (April 27), when wind power met 46 percent of customers’ electricity needs in the company’s Upper Midwest service territory.
“This record reinforces Xcel Energy’s position as the No. 1 wind energy provider in the nation,” said Dave Sparby, president and CEO of Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company.
“Wind energy brings great value to our customers as a cost-effective and clean resource. As we’ve added more wind power, we’ve learned a lot about how to reliably and safely integrate wind energy onto our system. And, by using state-of-the-art wind forecasting tools, we have saved Upper Midwest customers more than $15 million in fuel costs since 2009.”
At the time the company’s Upper Midwest record was set, wind resources provided 1,622 megawatts of the 3,512 megawatts Xcel Energy’s customers were using in Minnesota and neighboring states. The previous record was set in April 2013, when wind generation met 42 percent of customer demand.
Xcel Energy, recently named the nation’s top wind power provider for the 10th consecutive year, is currently adding 750 megawatts of wind resources in its Upper Midwest territory. Four wind projects have been approved by Minnesota regulators, representing a 42 percent increase in the company’s wind power capacity in the Upper Midwest. All four projects – two in Minnesota and two in North Dakota – are scheduled to be in service by the end of 2015.
“These cost-competitive projects will save customers more than $225 million and provide a valuable hedge to volatile fuel prices,” Sparby said. “Our diverse mix of cleaner technologies helps us keep costs lower over time, improve our environmental performance and provide safe, reliable service for customers.”
Wind generation produces 12 percent of the energy used by Xcel Energy’s Upper Midwest customers. Along with the wind additions coming on line by the end of 2015, the company is well on its way to generating 25 percent of its energy from wind resources by 2020, as required by Minnesota law.
Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company that provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.4 million electricity customers and 1.9 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies in eight Western and Midwestern states. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis.
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