MINNEAPOLIS – Xcel Energy has abandoned its plan to build a new $ 800 million natural gas-fired power plant at Sherco’s Becker site.
The change comes after the company received significant criticism from environmental groups who called for more renewable energy installations.
Xcel says instead that they are proposing to build two small natural gas power plants to ensure the stability of the power grid. They would be placed in southwest Minnesota and near Fargo, North Dakota. Xcel estimates that these small factories will cost less to build and operate less frequently, which means less carbon emissions.
In a written statement, the president of Xcel Chris clark “Our commitment to the Becker community and central Minnesota will not change,” adding “We have partnered with them to create new jobs and capital investment in the community to replace the coal-fired plants that are retiring.” .
Under the new proposal, Xcel would still reduce carbon emissions by more than 80% by 2030 through increased energy storage and the addition of more wind and solar power. The plan also provides for the operation of the Monticello nuclear power plant until at least 2040.
A decision from the Utilities Commission on the plan is expected later this year.