The solar project is located near the existing Sherco coal plant in Becker, Minnesota. Currently, 460 MW are under construction, and this decision will add a 250 MW array to this. All phases of the project are scheduled to be complete by 2025, replacing the capacity of the Sherco plant’s first coal unit, scheduled for closure by the end of 2023.
The newly approved expansion represents an additional investment of $406 million from Xcel Energy, bringing the total investment to over $1 billion. Construction of the initial phases of the experiment began in April.
Xcel Energy is building the Sherco Solar arrays adjacent to the existing Sherco plant, allowing the company to reuse the facility’s existing grid connections.
The project will help Xcel Energy transition from coal. The company says that it is on track to reduce carbon emissions 85 per cent in the Upper Midwest by 2030. It plans to retire all of its coal-fired units by the end of 2030.