Health Care

Xcel Energy Recognized for Lasting Wind Leadership

Xcel Energy Recognized for Lasting Wind Leadership

"Wind power is a critical component of an all-of-the-above energy approach focused on reducing consumer costs, furthering advances in renewable technologies and moving our country closer to total energy independence", he said.

"Well, after the dramatic cost reductions of the past few years, unsubsidized wind and solar can provide the lowest cost new electrical power in an increasing number of countries, even in the developing world - sometimes by a factor of two", Michael Liebreich the chairman of the Advisory Board at BNEF, said in the report.

Fowke said while federal policies are changing, favorable economics will continue to drive wind growth.

Wind provided 17.3 percent of Colorado's energy - the seventh highest percentage in the country, according to the report.

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However, wind and solar power capacity is increasing - wind now produces 5.5 percent of America's electricity and the installed capacity of solar power almost doubled a year ago and employs over 260,000 workers nationwide. "So, the USA wind industry - we're answering that call, and we're answering it today, not tomorrow". About 4,000 people work in the wind power industry in Minnesota. New wind farms will benefit many more local communities by generating almost $400 million in property taxes over the life of the projects.

The report also named Xcel Energy as the top utility for wind power capacity, both owned and under contract, with a total of 6,686 MW by the end of 2016. The wind power association reported that almost 37 percent of Iowa's electricity comes from wind, 30 percent in South Dakota and 22 percent in North Dakota.

The American Wind Energy Association announced Wednesday, April 19 that more than 15 percent of the state's electricity comes from wind power.

"In the Upper Midwest, we've seen the emergence of a wind-powered economy that benefits from low-priced energy, good job prospects and greater energy security", added Kiernan.

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While Minnesota was celebrating its position, it is not alone in the Upper Midwest. "Xcel Energy's pioneering leadership shows how we can use even more of our great American wind resources while creating new jobs throughout the heartland".

Moreover, according to AWEA, wind comprised 80% of all new electric generating capacity installed over last five years across Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Kiernan said the wind industry is contributing to economic growth in rural America and now supports over 100,000 jobs. "Each project means tens of millions of dollars flow to rural areas through jobs, taxes, and lease payments to farmers and ranchers - enriching those families and communities".

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