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Xcel in fight with French firm to cancel $400M N.D. wind farm

Xcel Energy Inc. said Tuesday it would cancel a $400 million North Dakota wind farm amid concerns over the project’s impact on wildlife. The French company Xcel was partnering with on the project reportedly said it would fight the move.

Minneapolis-based Xcel (NYSE: XEL) said it was dropping the project because of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service concerns over the threat the windmills would cause to two endangered birds – the whooping crane and the piping plover.

But the project’s developer, enXco Inc., said in a statement it will fight Xcel over the cancellation of the 150-megawatt Merricourt Wind Project, the Star Tribune reported. Xcel signed an agreement with enXco for the project in 2008.

Xcel said Tuesday it would not comment further about the disputed due to its agreement with exXco.

EnXco is the Escondido, Calif.-based subsidiary of Paris-based EDF Energies Nouvelles. Xcel and enXco have worked together on several projects over the years.