Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy has rolled out a proposal to add seven wind farms in the Upper Midwest totaling 1,500 megawatts of new wind energy and expanding the utility’s wind fleet in the region by 60 percent. The projects, a combination of Xcel-owned wind farms and power purchase contracts, would be situated in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa. Together, they represent more than $2.5 billion in capital investments. Over their expected life spans, the proposed wind farms are projected to generate nearly $200 million in property taxes and $150 million in landowner payments. In addition, the projects, when operational, are estimated to create approximately 1,500 construction jobs and about 80 full-time jobs. If approved by regulators in each state, Xcel expects the turbines to be in service by 2020.

– via North American Windpower

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