Xcel and enXco strengthen their ties

enXco and Xcel Energy have shared that all 67 GE 1.5 turbines in the 100.5 megawatt Grand Meadow Wind Project have been commissioned.

The project, developed by enXco Development Corporation and owned by Xcel Energy, was contracted in June 2007 with construction commencing in May last year.

Xcel Energy is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company with regulated operations in eight Western and Midwestern states. For the company, ownership of Grand Meadow is important in ensuring the company's ability to comply with the state of Minnesota's aggressive Renewable Energy Standard, which requires Xcel Energy to add 2,600 megawatts of new wind resources to its system by 2020.

Dave Sparby, president and CEO of Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company, said, "This facility represents a major milestone in our strategy to diversify our renewable efforts to include ownership along with traditional purchases and purchases from C-BED developers."

Grand Meadow represents the first wind project built for Xcel Energy under a develop, build and sell agreement, said Tristan Grimbert, president & CEO, enXco, who added that the project also builds on the two companies' long-term relationship of 334 MW of previously developed wind projects under power purchase agreements, including the 205.5 Fenton Wind Project completed in 2007.

"The working relationship enXco has with Xcel Energy is outstanding and evidenced by the additional 351 MW we agreed to develop, build and sell to Xcel Energy during 2010 and 2011," said Grimbert.

For its part, enXco will provide operations and maintenance for the turbines and balance of plant equipment, as well as provide 24/7 remote monitoring and fault resets from its Operations Control Center in Chandler, Minnesota.