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Business briefs

Ignite open house is Tuesday

Red Wing Ignite will hold an open house Aug. 13 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Ignite Building, 419 Bush St.

Gov. Mark Dayton, Sen. Matt Schmit and Rep. Tim Kelly are slated to speak at the event.

Free consulting available at SE Tech

A Small Business Development Center consultant will be at Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical in Red Wing Aug. 15 to offer free consulting services. Business owners can talk about business plans, financial analysis, cash flow, marketing and more.

The service is free and confidential. For more information, contact Katie Hardyman at or 651-267-7706.

Consulting services also are available at the local SCORE office.

Xcel plans wind expansion

Xcel Energy plans to expand its wind power production throughout the country, the company announced late last month.

Xcel plans to increase overall wind capacity by 30 percent. The move will reduce customer costs, benefit the environment and protect against rising fuel prices, Xcel officials said.

"Wind energy is a valuable, low-cost substitute for natural gas and other fuels right now," said Ben Fowke, chairman, president and CEO. "These projects will lower customer costs by at least $800 million over their lives and will provide a valuable hedge to rising and volatile fuel prices for well into the future."

The projects must be approved by regulatory authorities. If they go through, about 20 percent of Xcel's total energy mix will be supplied by wind, the company said.