Xcel trying to improve Grand Meadow wind farm

Xcel Power is hoping a proposed improve to its wind towers close to Grand Meadow will transfer the wind farm additional into the long run.

The corporate held a digital open home Thursday night time in regards to the challenge that will lengthen the lifetime of the farm to 2048 and produce a minimum of 10 p.c extra vitality.

“As a nationwide chief in wind vitality for greater than a decade, repowered wind initiatives like Grand Meadow will assist us scale back carbon emissions, hold payments reasonably priced for our prospects and assist create good jobs that can assist the financial system get better,” Xcel mentioned in an announcement to the Herald.

Xcel just lately obtained the go-ahead from the Minnesota Public Utilities Fee to start creating the repower challenge, together with three different farms within the higher Midwest.

The towers in query close to Grand Meadow embrace 67 towers on 10,000 acres in Grand Meadow, Clayton and Dexter townships.

“We’re thrilled,” mentioned County Administrator Trish Harren. “When you may create a extra environment friendly (operation) with the identical footprint with the least quantity of disturbance of the surroundings or the neighborhood whereas rising productiveness — we actually recognize that.”

The wind farms have been a boon to Mower County. Because of the cash generated from wind farms, the county has been capable of hold its levy down. This yr alone, the cash was capable of shave about 10 p.c off the levy.

The corporate will now start working with landowners within the space in addition to native governments and state businesses. That work will embrace extending lease agreements and securing further permits, together with a selected modification to the challenge’s website allow that can approve the repowering effort.

On the county facet, the remainder of the method will probably be pretty palms off.

“We work with the townships which are impacted,” Harren mentioned. “The important thing job is creating a growth settlement over safety of the roads.”

The permits required will probably be on a state stage.

“Usually the requirements of the state are larger than the conventional stage,” Harren mentioned.

Xcel is hoping to obtain allow approvals this yr or 2022, with an goal of 2023 for development.

The corporate has set its personal aim of an 80 p.c discount of carbon emissions by 2030 with a hope of going carbon-free by 2050.

The wind farm was initially inbuilt 2008 with an anticipated lifespan of 25 years. The generators may have their blades changed with longer blades and extra environment friendly turbine working methods that can increase the focused effectivity and vitality manufacturing objectives.

The blades themselves will enable for the extra environment friendly seize of winds at present working speeds.

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