Freeborn Wind powering more than 100,000 homes with low-cost renewable energy
- Jun 2, 2021 3:55 pm GMT
Xcel Energy recently completed the Freeborn Wind project in southern Minnesota, which is now generating enough renewable electricity to power about 105,000 average homes each year. The wind project is part of Xcel Energy’s clean energy leadership and key to the company’s plan to affordably reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2030 while pursuing its vision of delivering 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050.
“Freeborn Wind will help Xcel Energy continue its clean energy leadership while also providing benefits to the communities that host our projects,” said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy-Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota. “This project will deliver millions of dollars in revenue to build local infrastructure while delivering low-cost renewable energy to our customers throughout the region.”
Over the last two years, more than 200 construction workers helped build the project, which, along with other wind projects in the Upper Midwest, helps reduce emissions, delivers low cost electricity to customers, and provides revenue for local governments and landowners. Overall, approximately $70 million in lease payments will be provided to landowners and $29 million in property tax payments will go to local governments over the 25-year life of the project.
Beginning in 2017, Xcel Energy proposed to significantly increase the amount of wind energy on its Upper Midwest system, and began developing numerous projects throughout the Upper Midwest. With the completion of the Freeborn project, the company has added nearly 1,700 megawatts of new wind in the region since 2017. Following the completion of other projects later this year, Xcel Energy will have added more than 2,300 megawatts of new, low-cost wind energy in the Upper Midwest since 2017, enough to power more than 2 million average homes each year. Overall, the company’s customers are projected to receive more than 27% of their electricity from wind, and more than 60% of their electricity from carbon-free sources in 2021.
The company is also rebuilding several older wind projects in the region with new technology that will increase the amount of energy those projects provide to customers, keeping bills affordable while reducing carbon emissions.
“The new wind projects we’ve added will save customers money, are among the most cost-effective energy sources on our grid, and are integral to our groundbreaking vision to deliver 100% carbon-free electricity to our customers by 2050,” said Clark.
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