Xcel to shut down 2 units at Minnesota's biggest power plant by 2026


Xcel Energy has announced it will shut down two out of three units at its Sherco coal-fired power station, Minnesota's largest power plant, by 2026.

As part of an energy strategy filed with state regulators Friday that also includes a commitment to develop 1,200 megawatts of renewable energy over the next five years, Xcel says it will shut down Sherco Unit 2 by 2023, with Unit 1 following 3 years later, Midwest Energy News reports.

A 50 megawatt solar installation will then be built on the site of one of the dismantled units in Becker the website notes, with the St. Cloud Times adding that the utility also intends to build a natural gas plant on the other site.

Fresh Energy claims the two 750 megawatt units at Sherco, which were built in the 1970s, are "by far" the largest single sources of carbon pollution in Minnesota.

"Our plan provides great certainty, focuses on the future and is the right commitment for our customers and our communities," Xcel Minnesota president Chris Clark told MPR, adding that its new strategy would reduce its carbon emissions by 60 percent by 2030.

The news organization notes it marks a change in tune from Xcel Energy, which in January said it would prefer to keep all three of its units open beyond 2030. But Clark notes that "several things have changed since then," including the implementation of the EPA's Clean Power Plan, which require power plants reduce carbon emissions by 32 percent by 2030.

The announcement comes after a study earlier this year found that shutting down the coal-fired units would have "little impact on reliability," but would prevent millions of tons of carbon emissions, and reduce environmental and health costs by $1.2 billion, according to Midwest Energy News.

The changes at the power station, which generates 2.4 megawatts of power between three units and is one of the main sources of baseload power to the Twin Cities, have been welcomed by Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges.

"Today, Xcel has shown leadership again in announcing an ambitious plan to transition from coal power to clean-energy sources," she said in a statement to media. "I am grateful to have them as partners in our united effort to turn Minneapolis' nation-leading Climate Action Plan into a reality."

Next Up

Ky Thomas

Potts, Gopher defense dominate Buffaloes

Trey Potts ran for three touchdowns in a 30-0 victory in Boulder.

police tape, crime scene

Suspect dies by suicide after 11 hour standoff in Wisconsin motel

The standoff occurred at a motel in Balsam Lake.

U.S. district court minnesota - federal court

Four sentenced for home invasion on northern Minnesota reservation

The incident took place in October 2019 on the Red Lake Indian Reservation.

Screen Shot 2021-09-17 at 10.42.39 AM

4-year-old girl killed by falling branch in Mankato is identified

She is from South Dakota, and was attending the Mahkato Annual Traditional Powwow.

Screen Shot 2019-09-24 at 6.35.24 AM

No. 1 Lakeville South dominates No. 2 Eden Prairie

The Cougars ran away with the Class 6A showdown.

Lake Nokomis

Boy hospitalized after being rescued from Lake Nokomis has died

He was one of two children pulled from the Minneapolis lake.

39075 Shoreline Hwy, Westport, California - October 2017

Minneapolis man found dead at bottom of California cliff, half-brother arrested

The homicide happened near a beach park and campground for RVs located at the ocean.

uprooted tree in Burnsville

NWS: Tornadoes confirmed to have struck Apple Valley, Burnsville, Savage

A crazy night of storms may have included even more tornadoes.


Monticello nuclear plant shuts down

Xcel Energy says its Monticello nuclear power plant automatically shut down at 11:07 a.m. Tuesday, but officials aren't sure why and a cause is being investigated, the Pioneer Press reports. All plant safety systems were functioning, officials with the Minneapolis-based utility said. The shutdown posed no danger to the public or workers, Xcel officials said. The plant is not expected to be down long.

Monticello nuclear plant powers down

A transformer lockout at the Monticello nuclear power plant prompted an automatic shutdown Friday afternoon. Xcel Energy says the malfunction interrupted non-safety-related power, but that all safety systems functioned as designed.

Here's what Xcel Energy's plan for MN power plants means for you

Minnesota energy regulators are set to rule on Xcel Energy's plan to cut carbon emissions and boost renewable energy. Here's what it means.

Fairmont ethanol plant shutting down

Biofuel Energy says it's closing its ethanol plant in Fairmont until the price of corn comes down. The drought that has ravaged the Midwest's corn crop has pushed up corn prices and erased the profit margins of ethanol producers. A plant in Little Falls shut its doors this summer.

Xcel Energy drops plan to upgrade Prairie Island nuclear power plant

Xcel Energy says spending nearly $240 million to boost the power output at its Prairie Island nuclear plant near Red Wing is no longer a beneficial deal for customers, the Star Tribune reports. The Minneapolis-based utility first raised questions with regulators about the $310 million upgrade in March.