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Grants for renewables projects in Minnesota from mandated utility fund

An advisory board that oversees Xcel Energy's mandated Renewable Development Fund has awarded almost $23 million to 25 renewable energy projects or studies, most of them located in Minnesota. The utility chose the winners out of more than 200 proposals, awarding $9,935,901 for energy production projects and $12,804,466 for research and development. Of the total, $1.5 million went to St Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota to install a wind turbine on its campus and to use the energy for the college's own energy needs and $1.1 million was awarded to Wayzata Public Schools to construct a wind turbine on the High School campus in the Minneapolis-St Paul metropolitan area. Global Energy Concepts of Kirkland, Washington and St Paul, was given $370,000 to analyse and develop advanced methods for reducing uncertainty in wind power projects, while $997,000 went to WindLogics of Minnesota to build and demonstrate a utility scale wind forecasting system. The fund also gave Clipper Windpower of Minnesota $1 million to advance the application of a new wind turbine that will perform cost-effectively in lower wind conditions than is possible with current technology. The renewables fund was created in May 1999. State law requires Xcel to add $500,000 to the fund every year for each spent-fuel nuclear storage container temporarily stored after January 1, 1999, at Xcel's Prairie Island site near Red Wing, Minnesota. An advisory board of representatives from the company and environmental organisations evaluates the proposals.

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