Recovering from the economic downturn caused by the pandemic will require innovative solutions and collective work. In May, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and Department of Commerce asked Minnesota’s energy companies to create plans that reduce emissions and increase access to conservation and clean energy resources while growing jobs and putting Minnesota’s economy on the rebound.
In June, Xcel Energy responded by proposing projects to create jobs and keep energy bills stable. The projects bring significant system benefits and speed Minnesota’s clean energy transition.
One such project is wind repowering. Xcel Energy has proposed rebuilding (or repowering) older wind farms with the latest, most efficient turbine technology. This would add more renewable energy on Xcel Energy’s system, saving customers money while creating much-needed jobs throughout the Upper Midwest. Xcel Energy estimates that upgrading the wind farms—seven of them in Minnesota and North Dakota—would create up to 700 local, union construction jobs, in addition to the indirect jobs created and supported by suppliers.
Xcel Energy estimates its wind repowering projects will save customers $160 million over the next 25 years. Xcel Energy has found more immediate ways to provide vital relief to its customers too. Businesses can apply for temporary discounts on their electric bills, and households struggling to keep up with bills can set up payment arrangements. While the pandemic continues to weigh on public health and the economy, clean energy can be part of the solution to helping all Minnesotans and our state recover.