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Regulators okay Xcel’s plan to close coal plants, accelerate shift to clean energy

wind turbine from belowThe state Public Utilities Commission yesterday approved Xcel Energy’s 15-year Integrated Resource Plan, including its plan to retire two of the three coal-fired generating units at the Sherco plant in Becker.

The commission didn’t yet approve Xcel’s proposal to replace this coal generation with a natural gas generator. Instead, it directed Xcel to look more carefully at renewable power as well as efficiency and options to shift demand away from peak periods, so that not as much generation capacity is needed. The commission may approve a new natural gas plant in the future, or it may find that other options will be less expensive.

Xcel says its plan will reduce carbon emissions nearly 60% and double its wind and solar by 2030. The plan is the result of two-years of analysis and intensive work with Minnesota cities, clean energy organizations, and other stakeholders.

Read more in today’s Star Tribune.

Author: Annie Levenson-Falk

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