|  Sep 22, 2016

Xcel Energy Seeks Over 1,500 MW of Cost-Effective Wind Energy by 2020

RFP Will Save Ratepayers Money, Create Jobs and Boost Tax Revenues

ST. PAUL, MINN.  (September 22, 2016) -- Today, Xcel Energy announced that it intends to purchase up to 1,500 megawatts (MW) of cost-effective wind energy in the Upper Midwest before 2020. The timing of this Request for Proposal (RFP) will allow Xcel to procure wind power that is eligible for the full federal Production Tax Credit (PTC), which will translate directly to customer savings.

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of a new report from the Department of Energy finding that wind power has never been cheaper. With an average price of $20 per megawatt-hour today, the price of wind energy has fallen over 60% since 2009, according to the report.  As costs have fallen, wind project efficiencies have increased dramatically, resulting in a product that is carbon-free, economical, and reliable.

“Xcel’s long-standing commitment to clean, low-cost wind power is commendable and today’s announcement will prove to benefit their customers for many years to come,” said Beth Soholt, Executive Director of Wind on the Wires. “Although many utilities in the Upper Midwest are actively adding wind power their portfolio, Xcel reminded us all today why they are the number one utility provider of wind energy for 12 years running. Not only is this a smart investment for ratepayers in the state, this level of wind development will drive new investment, create jobs, and boost tax revenues in rural communities throughout greater Minnesota and beyond.”

Wind on the Wires estimates that this additional wind development will drive $2.8 billion of new investment, create at least 1,000 new jobs, and provide over $5 million in new tax revenue for communities that host the wind turbines. In all, 1,500 MW of wind energy will avoid 2.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide a year, which is the equivalent of 468,750 cars. It will also provide 750,000 homes with clean power and save 1.3 billion gallons of water.

A copy of Xcel's RFP can be found here.

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About Wind on the Wires
Wind on the Wires is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, Minn., that works to advance renewable energy in the Midwest. Its members are comprised of wind and solar developers, environmental organizations, tribal representatives, public interest groups, clean energy advocates, farm groups and businesses providing goods and services to the wind and solar industries.