Xcel Energy signs 200MW wind deal with Minnesota developer

Developer Geronimo Wind Energy has signed a 20-year agreement to supply power from the planned 200MW Prairie Rose wind farm in southwestern Minnesota, US.

Prairie Rose will provide electricity for about 60,000 homes within the service area of Xcel Energy subsidiary Northern States Power-Minnesota after it comes fully online at the end of 2012.

Financial terms of the power purchase agreement (PPA) were not disclosed.

A Geronimo spokeswoman says the developer and Enel Green Power, its project partner, are in discussions with several turbine suppliers, which she did not name.

Geronimo and Enel will own and operate the wind farm. The spokeswoman says Prairie Rose will be the first large-scale wind farm from the two development partners, who have a 4GW project pipeline.

They expect the project to benefit from the 30% federal production tax credit, which is set to expire for wind facilities at the end of next year.

The wind industry believes the US Congress will extend the credit, probably for one or two years.

An Xcel Energy spokeswoman says the value of the tax credit is captured in the PPA’s price.

“We are pleased that we were able to continue our track record of bringing on wind resources that are cost competitive, even in this period of lower natural gas prices,” says Judy Poferl, chief executive of Northern States Power-Minnesota.