Xcel Energy salvages North Dakota wind project

Published 8:57 am Friday, May 1, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS — Xcel Energy continues to add wind power.

The utility says it will spend $300 million to purchase and complete a wind farm in North Dakota under development by Geronimo Energy. The purchase salvages a project that might otherwise not have been finished because no wind energy company emerged to buy and operate it.

Xcel planned to buy electricity produced by the wind farm in Stutsman County, North Dakota. But the utility didn’t necessarily want to own it. Xcel has two other large wind farms under construction.

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Geronimo executive Betsy Engelking tells the Star Tribune that an unfavorable tax ruling in North Dakota made it difficult to find an outside buyer. If Xcel completes the project before the end of 2016, it’s expected to qualify for the federal wind production tax credit.

Excel is also purchasing Pleasant Valley windfarm near Dexter.