Xcel Energy purchases fourth wind power project

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Xcel Energy has purchased the Border Winds Project near the Canadian border in North Dakota.

The Star Tribune reported Tuesday that this is the fourth wind power project in Xcel's Upper Midwest territory to be added to its portfolio within the past month. All four are scheduled to be in service by the beginning of 2016.

With this addition, Xcel will have the wind power to generate about the same output as a large power plant. The wind option is expected to save customers $220 million over 20 years. RES America Developments Inc. would develop the project in Rolette County, North Dakota.

In July, Xcel Energy asked Minnesota utility regulators to approve three planned wind projects in the region: power purchase agreements with the Odell Wind Farm near Windom, Minn., and the Courtenay Wind Farm near Jamestown, N.D., and the purchase from RES America of the Pleasant Valley Wind Project near Austin, Minn.

Earlier this month, Duluth-based Minnesota Power announced plans to increase its wind power capacity by 50 percent by building a $345 million, 200-megawatt expansion of its wind farm near Salem, N.D. That expansion will add 64 turbines to the 101 turbines it already operates.

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