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    MN Public Utilities Commission approves Xcel’s record solar project in Sherburne County

    September 16, 2022 - Pioneer Press


      The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Thursday approved what would be the state’s largest solar power plant.

      Xcel Energy’s proposed Sherco Solar Project, which is expected to generate 460 megawatts of electricity, will be located on two separate parcels in Becker and Clear Lake townships, near the company’s coal-powered Sherburne County Generating Facility in Becker, according to a news release issued by the PUC.

      Xcel plans to retire its Minnesota coal-powered plants by 2030, including the massive Sherco facility. The new solar project, which is expected to be fully operational by 2025, will offset some of the capacity lost through these closures.

      Chris Clark, Xcel’s president for Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, told KSTP-TV the company is “pleased to move forward with the Sherco Solar Project.”

      “We know it will be a key component to meet our customers’ energy needs as we transition away from coal and closer to our vision to deliver 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050,” Clark said.

      The PUC said the project will create 900 construction jobs paying an estimated $115 million in wages over the next three years, and that it will reduce carbon emissions by 300,000 tons annually.

      The Sherco project is the second major renewable energy proposal to be approved recently by the PUC.

      Last month, the commission signed off on the hybrid Big Bend Wind and Red Rock Solar plant in southwestern Minnesota, which is expected to generate up to 360 megawatts of power.

      ©2022 MediaNews Group, Inc. Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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