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Xcel's Sherco Plant

Xcel Energy has made great strides in clean energy, but still operates the biggest coal plant in the Minnesota, the Sherco coal plant. Sherco is the biggest greenhouse gas emitter in MN, biggest mercury polluter, etc. Over the next year, Xcel needs to decide whether to spend millions to update Sherco 1&2 coal units or replace coal by investing in clean energy solutions. Xcel Energy and the PUC need to hear that their customers want to see them reduce coal use, increase investment in solar energy, wind and energy efficiency.

On Monday, July 1st, Xcel Energy submitted its study for the future of Sherco - Minnesota’s most dangerous coal-fired power plant, and the state’s single, largest source of soot and carbon pollution.

Last year, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) required a study from Xcel examining the costs to continue to burn coal at Sherco’s two older coal burning units, Sherco 1&2, versus the costs to replace these units. Out of the study, Xcel is recommending to continue burning coal at both units.

In lieu of the urgent progress we must make to curb greenhouse gas emissions and reduce health risks in our communities, Xcel Energy’s recommendation to continue burning coal at Sherco is a step backwards for health and for our childrens’ future.  The Sherco coal-fired power plant is the state’s biggest contributor to climate disruption and is on the EPA’s “watch list” as one of the top emitters of toxic mercury and sulfur dioxide in the nation.

The recommendation also misses a huge opportunity for investments in clean energy. Xcel Energy knows the potential of clean energy in Minnesota. Xcel is already ahead of schedule to meet the state’s renewable energy standards. Instead of continuing to invest in an old coal plant, Xcel Energy should be investing in clean energy like wind, solar and energy efficiency, which are already powering Minnesota and creating local jobs.