Xcel Energy (Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.) and enXco (Escondido, California, U.S.), an EDF Energies Nouvelles Company, have announced plans to develop 351 MW of wind power in Minnesota and North Dakota by the end of 2011, increasing the utility's wind power resources by more than 10% company wide. Once developed, project ownership will be transferred to Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company.

The agreement between enXco and NSP-Minnesota targets approximately US$900 million in investment over three years and underscores Xcel Energy's strong commitment to renewable energy and the states it serves. It stems from a competitive bidding process Xcel Energy launched late last year, as part of its plan to meet state renewable requirements. The agreement also is consistent with Xcel Energy's commitment to meeting its customers' needs in an economic and environmentally sound manner and includes the company's first major wind undertaking in North Dakota.

Under the agreement, Xcel Energy will seek regulatory approvals to develop a 201-MW project in southwestern Minnesota's Nobles County, called the Nobles Wind Project, and a 150-MW project in Dickey and McIntosh counties in southeastern North Dakota, called the Merricourt Wind Project. The projects are expected to be operational by the end of 2010 and 2011, respectively. Together, the projects will produce enough electricity to power approximately 110,000 homes.