Wind energy use is increasing all over the country and that includes in our area.
Minnesota is ranked the second highest in the nation for the wind power it distributes, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Energy. The department says the price for the state’s wind is the lowest to date.
“It’s a great area for wind development and the landowners seem to embrace it and companies have flocked there,” Mike Herro, Community Service Manager for Xcel Energy said.
Xcel Energy is the country’s number one wind energy provider.
Herro said as wind prices continue to decrease, Xcel’s wind power continues to expand.
“We’re in the process of putting more wind turbines on our system over the next few years,” Herro said.
Herro said about 70 new turbines are going up around Stewartville. More wind energy has the capacity to power 1.3 million homes.
“The prices are down from what they were a few years ago to install them and we’re having a lot of success with them,” Herro said.
Xcel isn’t the only company take advantage of the areas wind resource. Gundersen Health System also utilizes wind power with two different wind sites in the area.
“There’s one in Cashton, WI which producers about 5 Megawatts of capacity, two turbines and another one in Lewiston, MN which produces 5 Megawatts,” Jeff Rich, Executive Director with Gundersen Envision said. Each site produces enough electricity to power 1,200 homes.
Herro said an increase in wind energy could mean a decrease in your energy bill.
“We’re going to save our customers over the next 20 years, $225 million dollars.”