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A former coal plant in Granite Falls that was in operation for more than 60 years was demolished in a controlled implosion. 

Xcel Energy's Minnesota Valley Generating Plant, located at 4064 Hwy 212 E., was blown up Thursday. It was retired in 2009 as the company switched its focus towards cleaner energy production.

According to Xcel Energy, the plant produced electricity for farms and towns between the Twin Cities and Sioux Falls, South Dakota from the 1930s to the 1990s.

Company and city leaders attended the implosion in order to honor "the history of this regional icon and the employees and retirees who successfully operated the plant as it played an important role in serving the community with reliable, affordable energy." The plant was originally built by Northern States Power along the Minnesota River.

Xcel Energy contracted with Veit to execute the demolition.

Granite Falls High School — now known as Yellow Medicine East Middle/High School — once had a mascot known as the "Kilowatts," an ode to the power plant. An amateur baseball team in Granite Falls still carries the mascot name to this day.

Xcel Energy said following the leveling of the property, workers will clean up and recycle the materials from the plant's structure. The company's Minnesota Valley substations will continue to power towns and farms in the area.

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