MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 10, 2003 — Xcel Energy proposed investing approximately $164 million in generating capacity in Minnesota and South Dakota to ensure adequate electricity supply for its Upper Midwest customers on the hottest days of the year.
In a report filed with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Xcel Energy said it intends to seek authorization for a $100 million project to add two combustion turbines at its Blue Lake peaking plant in Shakopee, Minn., and for a $64 million project to add one turbine at its Angus Anson peaking plant in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Each of the three new turbines would be fired by clean-burning natural gas and would have a summer capacity of approximately 160 megawatts. Currently, the Blue Lake plant has four units fired by oil and a capacity of 225 megawatts; the Angus Anson plant has two units that can be fired by either natural gas or oil and a capacity of 223 megawatts.
Peaking plants are used when demand for electricity exceeds the capability of lower-cost baseload plants – such as the coal-fired Sherco plant and the Monticello and Prairie Island nuclear plants. Peaking plants routinely are used during times when electricity demand is the highest — which in Minnesota is in the summer when air conditioners are on — or when there is an unexpected outage at a baseload plant.
“The three new turbines are needed to ensure a reliable supply of power during peak demand periods in 2005 and thereafter,” said David Wilks, president of energy supply. “We want to ensure the reliability of our power supply for our customers remains high.”
Xcel Energy is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company with regulated operations in 11 Western and Midwestern states. Xcel Energy provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.3 million electricity customers and 1.7 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies. In terms of customers, it is the fourth-largest combination natural gas and electricity company in the nation. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis. More information is available at www.xcelenergy.com.