RES Americas to Develop 200 Megawatt Pleasant Valley Wind Farm for Xcel Energy
By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor
RES America Developments Inc. announced a partnership with Xcel Energy to build the 200-megawatt Pleasant Valley Wind Farm. Located near Austin, Minn., adjacent to the Grand Meadow wind project owned by Xcel Energy, Pleasant Valley Wind Farm is part of 600 megawatts of wind power recently announced by Xcel Energy in the Upper Midwest service territory.
“RES Americas is pleased to once again work with Xcel Energy to provide an additional 200 megawatts of affordable and clean energy to the region,” said Susan Reilly, president & CEO of the company. “This is an excellent example of the realized benefits of the Production Tax Credit. This project will generate clean, renewable energy and provide one of the lowest-cost power resources currently available in the region.”
RES America Developments, a subsidiary of Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc., will be the developer and constructor of Pleasant Valley and upon completion will transfer its ownership to Xcel Energy, which will own and operate the project. The development and construction schedules are reported to be on track for completion by the end of 2015, with development activities stretching into 2014 and plans to break ground in mid-2014.
“The Pleasant Valley Wind Project, along with the other wind purchases we are making, will lower our customers’ bills, offer protection from rising fuel costs and provide significant environmental benefits,” said Dave Sparby, president & CEO of Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company.
Xcel Energy, following a request for proposals in February, selected Pleasant Valley and two other projects to submit to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and the North Dakota Public Service Commission for consideration and notified regulators in South Dakota, Wisconsin and Michigan.
The projects combined will produce enough energy to serve 180,000 homes and lower customer costs over the lives of the projects by $180 million. The projects will also have a positive impact on the environment by reducing carbon emissions by 1.2 million tons each year in Xcel Energy’s Upper Midwest service territory.
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