Xcel Energy says it is moving forward with plans to purchase a repowered wind project totaling 120 MW in southwest Minnesota from ALLETE Clean Energy.

Rebuilding older wind technology with newer, more efficient equipment increases the amount of energy delivered at those locations, saving money for customers over the life of the projects.   

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved the acquisition of the Northern Wind site, consisting of the former Chanarambie and Viking wind projects – as well as the Rock Aetna development project.

“Repowering and expanding the Northern Wind project is the latest example of our customer-focused clean energy strategy delivering value to our many stakeholders,” says Allan S. Rudeck Jr., president of ALLETE Clean Energy. “The redevelopment and sale of Northern Wind to Xcel Energy illustrates our disciplined approach to capital allocation and supports our broader plans to grow our capabilities, unlock future investments in the clean energy space and provide sustainable solutions to customers.”

This purchase, along with other repowering projects approved in late 2020, was spurred by the commission’s request for projects that could help the economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and recession by putting people to work, increasing the amount of renewable energy in the region and lowering costs for customers. Installing new wind turbines at existing wind sites can increase electricity production by more than 10%, saving customers money over the 25-year lifespan of projects.

ALLETE Clean Energy also recently completed a repowering project at the nearby Lake Benton I wind site in southwest Minnesota which sells energy to Xcel Energy under a long-term power purchase agreement.

Photo: Allan S. Rudeck Jr.

This post appeared first on North American Windpower.

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