After two years of study and numerous modifications, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has unanimously approved Xcel Energy’s 15-year energy resource plan, which will dramatically expand the state’s clean energy footprint, including doubling the amount of wind and solar on Xcel’s system and removing a significant portion of its coal-burning power plant. The plan calls for:
- Adding at least 1,000 megawatts of wind resources by 2019;
- Adding at least 650 MW of solar by 2021, including through community solar gardens or other cost-effective solar;
- Saving at least 400 MW through energy efficiency and study the possibility of saving 1,000 MW through efficiency programs in its next resource plan;
- Beginning studying scenarios for cost-effective and orderly retirement of Xcel’s coal and nuclear fleet, which are reaching the end of their operational lives.
- Retiring two coal-burning units at the Sherco plant, totaling 1,364 MW, in 2023 and 2026, respectively, and replacing them with 750 MW of new power (see “It’s gas vs. clean energy to replace Minn. coal”)
– via Fresh Energy