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Xcel Energy’s Sherco Solar Project and Proposed Third Array to Provide Cost-Effective and Clean Energy
Xcel Energy has plans to construct a new 250-MW solar project in Becker, Minnesota, near the existing Sherco plant site. This proposed project is set to become the largest solar development in the Upper Midwest and is a crucial step in the company’s efforts towards a cleaner energy future.
Xcel Energy has requested the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on May 8 to approve the addition of a third solar array adjacent to the 460-MW Sherco Solar project, which is currently under construction. The three solar projects are projected to be finished by the end of 2025 and will take the place of the Sherco plant’s first coal unit, scheduled for retirement later this year. In its efforts to increase solar energy provided to its customers, Xcel Energy has also suggested purchasing power from the 100-MW Apple River solar project being developed in northwest Wisconsin.
The Sherco Solar project is one of the biggest solar developments in the United States and plays a critical role in Xcel Energy’s goal to nearly triple the amount of solar energy on its Upper Midwest system by 2028. With a combined capacity of 710 MW, the projects will produce sufficient electricity to power over 150,000 homes on an average yearly basis. Solar energy has no fuel expenses and contributes to a varied energy mix, providing protection against fuel price surges. Xcel Energy anticipates being eligible for federal tax credits, which will help lower construction expenses, resulting in cost savings for its customers.
Chris Clark, the President of Xcel Energy for Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota, stated that “These projects will offer the most cost-effective solar energy on our Upper Midwest system and showcase our commitment to clean energy without compromising on affordability. We are devoted to progressing the Sherco Solar project to provide substantial new clean energy to our customers and communities.”
Xcel Energy will be responsible for the development, ownership, and operation of the third Sherco Solar array. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved the first two solar projects at the Sherco plant site last fall, and the construction of the first project began at the end of April.
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