Xcel proposes $3 billion energy investment package
Minnesota-based utility Xcel Energy has proposed a $3 billion energy investment package in order to counter the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The investment package would include solar, wind and efficiency projects while also creating thousands of jobs if approved by regulators.
Xcel has proposed the projects to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, calling it one of the largest package of energy investment projects in state history. It also would help the utility reach its goal of wider clean energy adoption.
“COVID-19 put the brakes on our economy, leading to widespread unemployment and we are eager to help Minnesota with our proposal that can help provide the economic jump start our state needs.” said Ben Fowke, chairman and CEO, Xcel Energy. “We thank Governor Tim Walz, our regulators and commissioners for the leadership on this issue and remain committed to working with them along with our, communities, policymakers, stakeholders and employees to move these projects forward quickly to help all Minnesotans.”
On the renewable generation side of the package, Xcel proposes to speed up the addition of about 460 MW in solar power capacity next to its Sherco coal-fired plant in Becker, Minnesota. Xcel estimated that the work could create from 230 to 350 union jobs and provide carbon-free power for more than 240,000 homes.
The Sherco (Sherbourne County) Unit 3 will be closed by 2030, according to previous reports. Units 1 and 2 are marked for closure by 2023 and 2026, respectively.
Xcel also wants to rebuild aging wind farms with new technologies and add new turbine projects in the state. The utility says this effort would create hundreds of new jobs as the wind capacity is upgraded and expanded.
Source: Power Engineering
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