Xcel Energy Announces Solar Connect Community

Xcel Energy has announced it is moving forward with development of Wisconsin’s largest community solar garden program.  As part of Solar* Connect Community, Xcel Energy will purchase the electricity produced by two, one-megawatt solar gardens. One will be built in the city of Eau Claire and the other in La Crosse County. The solar gardens will be constructed by Pristine Sun, a San Francisco-based leading developer of solar projects.

The City of Eau Claire has signed a lease with Pristine Sun to build the Eau Claire solar array on 7½ acres of an abandoned landfill near the company’s Wisconsin headquarters on West Hamilton Avenue in the Sky Park Industrial Park. The Sky Park landfill operated as a municipal waste facility from 1948 to 1965. With community solar programs, customers share in the benefits of solar energy without the need to install solar panels on their own roof or maintain their own solar array. Through Solar* Connect Community, customers choose their own subscription level, pay a one-time fee to subscribe and receive a monthly credit on their electric bill based on their portion of the solar energy produced.

In addition to the solar garden in Eau Claire, Pristine Sun will construct a similar sized facility on private land in La Crosse County. Xcel Energy may also opt to build up to one megawatt of additional community solar that could be operational in 2017. The two community solar gardens are expected to be operational by the end of 2016.


Xcel Energy’s leadership in wind energy has reached another milestone as the American Wind Energy Association
named the company the country’s top utility wind energy provider for the 12th consecutive year. Xcel Energy more
than doubled its wind ownership when it acquired the Pleasant Valley Wind Farm in Minnesota and Border Wind
Farm in North Dakota last year. Along with purchasing energy from new wind farms in Colorado and New Mexico,
the company increased its wind capacity 850 megawatts, or 15 percent, companywide in 2015. Xcel Energy will add
another 400 megawatts of wind to the system in 2016, by buying power from the Odell Wind Farm in Minnesota and
owning the Courtenay Wind Farm in North Dakota, when the plants are completed this year.


Xcel Energy has filed an application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin requesting new electric and
natural gas rates in 2017. The request is limited in scope, yet allows the company to continue making infrastructure
investments that provide customers with reliable, carbon-free electricity, and support ongoing environmental
remediation of an industrialized site in Ashland.

Under the electric rate request, if approved as filed, a typical residential electricity customer using 750 kilowatt hours
per month would see an increase of $1.73 per month or about six cents a day. Xcel Energy is requesting to increase
overall electricity base rates by $17.4 million (2.4 percent).

Under the gas request, if approved as filed, a typical residential natural gas customer using 55 therms a month
would see a monthly increase of $2.49 or eight cents a day. Xcel Energy is requesting to increase overall natural gas base rates by $4.8 million (3.9 percent).


Solar energy is taking a significant step forward as Xcel
Energy, the nation’s leading utility provider of wind
energy, has announced plans to create Wisconsin’s largest
community solar garden program. As part of Solar*Connect
Community, Xcel Energy plans to purchase up to three
megawatts of electricity from community solar arrays, the
first two megawatts of which are planned for Eau Claire and
La Crosse counties.

Xcel Energy to Add More Efficient Street Lighting

LED Streetlights

Xcel Energy is among the first Wisconsin electric utilities to bring the economic, environmental and aesthetic benefits of high-efficiency LED streetlights to its communities. A massive project to upgrade thousands of streetlights across Xcel Energy’s Wisconsin service area began October 6th in Hudson and North Hudson.

These two communities are the first of nearly 200 communities in western and northern Wisconsin that will benefit from the conversion, which will take place over the next five years. The effort focuses on converting more than 25,000 streetlights owned by Xcel Energy from cobra head, high pressure sodium vapor bulbs to new, more energy-efficient fixtures using light-emitting diodes, or LEDs.

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