Xcel Energy is continuing to transition its fleet to carbon-free energy in the Upper Midwest with the addition of the Foxtail Wind Energy Center located in Dickey County in south-central North Dakota.
The 150 MW wind farm is part of the company’s vision to achieve 85 percent clean energy by 2030 by adding low-cost, clean energy with 1,850 MW of renewable energy located in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa.
The Foxtail project is one of several renewable energy projects the company projects that put it on a path to produce 85 percent of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2030. The plan will also save customers billions of dollars in fuel and other costs in the coming decades. The ‘steel for fuel’ strategy is projected to keep customer bill increases below the rate of inflation by using low-cost wind energy and other investments as it transitions its generation fleet.
The Foxtail Wind project, developed by a unit of NextEra Energy Resources, will provide enough energy to power about 79,000 average Midwestern homes. Construction begins this summer when foundations will be poured. The wind turbines will be installed and come on line in 2019.
Nearly 100 construction workers will build the project over 2018-2019, and an additional 10 workers will maintain and operate the facility. Local landowners will benefit from $30 million in lease payments over the next 30 years, and local governments will receive $20 million in property taxes to help support local infrastructure and facilities.
The project will span about 20,000 acres and use 75 Vestas wind turbines. West Fargo, North Dakota-based Wanzek Construction will build the wind farm. Wanzek has built more than 90 wind farms throughout the country, nearing 10 gigawatts constructed.