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ND commission gives another approval to 150-MW wind project


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ND commission gives another approval to 150-MW wind project

The North Dakota Public Service Commission on Feb. 27 approved Xcel Energy Inc.'s request for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the 150-MW Foxtail Wind Project.

To be built about 20 miles west of Ellendale, N.D., Foxtail is one of the wind projects that make up the 1,550-MW wind portfolio that Xcel Energy plans to add to its system to serve customers of its operating companies Northern States Power Co. - Minnesota and Northern States Power Co. - Wisconsin.

During its meeting, the three-member commission unanimously approved the certificate for the wind farm to be built in Dickey County, in southeastern North Dakota. A written order was not immediately available.

Xcel Energy in October 2017 asked the commission for the certificate, which is required before a utility can construct or operate a power plant. The company told regulators the wind project will keep customers' bills lower than they otherwise would be over the life of the project and also provide 150 construction jobs and eight full-time jobs, as well as several hundred thousand dollars per year in tax base and tax revenues for North Dakota. (North Dakota PSC Case No. PU-17-387)

Xcel Energy in October 2016 said it would acquire the project from NextEra Energy Inc. subsidiary NextEra Energy Resources LLC and build it in two phases between 2018 and 2019. The project is expected to be in service sometime around September 2019, said Commissioner Brian Kroshus.

The commission in January granted a site certificate to NextEra subsidiary Foxtail Wind for the project. The companies planned to ask the commission to transfer the certificate to Xcel Energy, per the terms of a purchase and sale agreement.

The commission has yet to issue an order in Xcel Energy's request for approval for advance determination of prudence for Foxtail and other wind resources. (North Dakota PSC Case No. PU-17-120)