Environmental group turns up heat on Xcel to ditch coal at Sherco units

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The Sierra Club is urging Xcel Energy to stop burning coal at two of its generators in Sherburne County.

Xcel and state regulators are negotiating the future of the two older units at the Sherco power plant near Becker. MPR reports the Sierra Club Monday delivered boxes of letters to an Xcel executive urging the utility to move away from coal toward solar or wind energy. A public comment period on the issue ends October first.

The Xcel executive who received the letters told MPR the decision about Sherco's future is a complicated one involving costs, environmental benefits, and the energy needs of customers.

But after studying its options, the company decided this summer it wants to continue burning coal at Sherco, at least until federal regulations are revised.

Xcel needs new regulatory approval from the Public Utilities Commission for its two oldest coal-burning units at Sherco. The PUC had ordered the company to weigh the cost of updating those 1970's-vintage units against the cost of converting to a different power source.

Their decision to stick with coal is not popular among environmental groups, which say the Sherco plant is Minnesota's biggest single source of carbon emissions.

Xcel also has a third coal-burning generator at the Sherco plant, but that one is newer and is not up for regulatory renewal. That third unit has been inactive for nearly two years because of damage to its turbines, but Xcel recently told the PUC it expects to reactivate Unit 3 by the end of September.

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

Wolves-Grizzlies game off, KAT tests postive for COVID

The Timberwolves star was among several players that are dealing with COVID-related issues.

minnesota state fair

Planning for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair is underway

The fair suffered huge financial losses due to COVID-19, but organizers are moving forward with planning "different scenarios" for this summer.

Screen Shot 2021-01-15 at 2.16.44 PM

Heather Brown named as new WCCO 'This Morning' anchor

She will be joining Jason DeRusha on the CBS affiliate's Morning Show.

DPS John Harrington

DPS Commissioner: No credible threats to state Capitol, but ready if something arises

Local and state law enforcement officials have a plan in case a threat arises.

snow, slush (submitted photo, ok to use)

Here are snow totals from Thursday-Friday winter storm

It's a slushy mess in the metro, but snow did pile up in southern counties.

tim walz

Walz fury after report that government's COVID vaccine reserve is nonexistent

The Washington Post reported Friday that the Trump Administration has shipped out all the vaccines it has already, with none in reserve.

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on MLK Day 2021?

Local government offices will generally be closed on Monday.

BMTN 900x450 (8)

Company that falsely promised student loan forgiveness banned from MN

It's also been ordered to repay $11,499 in fees taken from Minnesotans.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for January 15

Hospitalizations are the lowest in Minnesota since October 25.

Sars-Cov-2

Osterholm: B117 COVID strain could become major issue in 6-8 weeks

The B117 variant is believed to be more easily transmitted.

Related