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Where Does Xcel Energy’s Wind Power Come From?

Ranty mentioned that The Healy House is now wind powered, as in, the power purchased from Xcel Energy comes from wind sources.

It’s a very simple process. Just call Xcel, work your way through their phone tree until you reach a human (that’s the toughest part), then tell them you’d like to join the WindSource program. Done.

You’ll be charged slightly more per month for wind power. In exchange, you’ll cut down on burning crap that gives kids asthma.

This got me thinking about where Xcel actually acquires the wind power they deliver. It’s not like there is a wind turbine on top of the IDS. Here is Xcel’s explanation of the current source:

The energy that supplies Windsource is 100 percent wind energy generated or purchased from Minnesota wind farms. A total of 19 wind turbines located in Pipestone and Dodge County in Minnesota currently supply the wind energy

Xcel Energy is also building a wind farm near Austin, MN.

What does it look like? Here’s a video of a wind farm in Pipestone. If you have your speakers on, this will very that it’s pretty darn windy out West:

4 thoughts on “Where Does Xcel Energy’s Wind Power Come From?”

  1. I ran out of fingers and toes counting…three times over…so of the over 60 wind turbines out there in Pipestone, Xcel owns less than a paltry third of these fine turbines (since there is that second location in Dodge Co).

    They can do better.

    And until they do, I say stay away from the ‘clean coal’ (where all they do is try to pump the CO2 emissions into the ground…like it will magically stay there why?) and nuclear plant rumblings (since they still haven’t found any way to handle the spent fuel they already have produced).

    Windsource charges something over 10% more for us to add to our homes…why? Is it truly more expensive to build and maintain wind turbines as opposed to a nuclear power plant? When they built the MN nuclear power plants, did they charge your mom and dad 10% more for a Nuclearsource plant?

    Why do they surcharge this…because they can. Because well meaning and well intended greenies like us have to do this in order for big energy to give us a safe energy alternative.

    Well, I’ll probably sign up for their blackmail program, but mainly I’ll continue to watch ever watt I use to conserve as much energy as I can, not ‘comfortably’ can, ‘physically and mentally am able to’ can.

  2. Hi, I’m the product manager for Windsource. To answer a couple of misconceptions in the previous comment… There are 19 wind turbines dedicated solely to Windsource program (not sure if any of the ones in the video are mine or not). Xcel Energy likely buys the power, however, from all the turbines you see. (Xcel Energy does not actually own any of these turbines. We have purchased power agreements with the owners.)

    We basically have two buckets of wind energy: the first is paid for by all customers and applies to the MN state renewable portfolio standard (RPS). The second is the Windsource bucket and allows customers to go above and beyond the RPS if they so choose. In simple terms, the Windsource price is higher because the costs are spread among a limited number of customers. Unlike the cost of the RPS wind which is spread across all customers.

    And for the record, Xcel Energy has more wind online than any other utility in the country and Windsource has more customers than any other voluntary green energy program in the country. Signing up for the program has the direct effect of increasing the amount of wind on our system. In fact, I can’t keep up. The program grew by over 35% in 2007 (without any massive promotion) and we’re struggling to add more capacity to the Windsource bucket.

    Anyways, thanks for your support. Rock on.

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