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Nobles Wind Project to begin

WORTHINGTON -- Area residents can expect to see turbine blades and generators moving across the county's roads later this month as construction nears on the state's second largest wind farm.

On Wednesday, enXco and Xcel Energy completed a purchase and sale agreement for Nobles Wind Project. The transfer of ownership makes this Xcel Energy's second wind turbine project in Minnesota, and will push the company closer to its goal of generating 30 percent of its retail electrical sales with renewable power by 2020.

"We currently have 1,200 megawatts on the system -- that takes us to about half of where we need to be," said Patti Nystuen, senior media relations representative for Xcel Energy, on Thursday.

The Nobles Wind Project will include 134 GE 1.5 megawatt turbines that, once operational, will generate 201 megawatts of power. The turbines will be constructed in Olney, Dewald, Larkin and Summit Lake townships, with a switching station and maintenance facility to be constructed in the northeast quarter of Section 23, Summit Lake Township.

"Xcel Energy already is the nation's No. 1 wind power provider, and the Nobles Wind Project advances our commitment to provide clean, renewable energy at a reasonable cost to our customers," said Judy Poferl, president and CEO of Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company, in a press release issued by Xcel. "We are pleased to move ahead on this project, which will underscore our commitment to the communities we serve, increase our ownership of wind facilities and help us meet aggressive renewable energy requirements."

Approximately 150 construction jobs will be created with the Nobles Wind Project. Nystuen said construction is expected to be completed -- and operational -- by the end of this year.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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