Pollinator Initiative

Pollinators are vital and their population is shrinking. Most flowering plants depend on pollinators like honey bees and monarch butterflies to produce fruit and seeds, but unfortunately many of the needed species are shrinking towards extinction.

We are supporting the fight to save the pollinators by looking for opportunities to plant milkweed (a plant essential in the lifecycle of monarchs) and other native nectar-producing plants along right-of-way corridors and other Xcel Energy land. With our northern service territory coinciding with the Monarch Migration Corridor from Minnesota to Texas, we see tremendous potential to be a leader in creating and restoring pollinator habitat, and educating interested customers who are eager to help. We are always looking for new opportunities to include native prairie plants and implement other environmentally sound practices at our current and future facilities. Contact Us.

Pollinator sites

Map (JPG) of current and potential sites.

We have been supporting the development and maintenance of pollinator habitat for over 25 years. We currently have over a dozen active and potential pollinator habitat sites in our Minnesota and Wisconsin territories.

We have worked with the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire County, and local schools to manage prairie lands that support the Endangered Karner blue butterfly and other rare grasshopper species.

We are currently developing a seven acre pollinator habitat around our new First Lake Substation in Monticello, Minn. (pictured here). The substation, energized in 2015, was built to ensure continued reliable electricity for the area and add additional power to help ensure the city can grow and prosper. 

The pollinator habitat was planted in the spring of 2016. An Xcel Energy employee will also maintain a bee hive outside the substation.

A commemoration event was held at the First Lake Substation in July, 2016. Read about it.

In 2015, we signed the Pollinator Pledge committing at least 50 acres in the St. Croix River Valley to pollinator-friendly habitat. The Pollinator Pledge is an initiative launched by the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service. In addition, in 2015 crews planted native pollinator plants on seven acres of new transmission line right of way at a Boy Scout camp near Town of Holland, Wis.

In 2008, we restored seven acres of native prairie land around the High Bridge Generating Station in St. Paul.

In 2005, we partnered with the City of Cottage Grove and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to restore 60 acres of native prairie habitat in large areas of right-of-way under Xcel Energy transmission line in the city.






Additional Information

Pollinator Fact Sheet (PDF)

Pollinator Pledge (PDF)

EEI Article – Utilities take action on habitat restoration (PDF)