Decision not to build natural gas plant adds insult to injury of closing Sherco
(Golden Valley, MN…) Xcel Energy has announced it will no longer seek to build a nearly 800-megawatt combined-cycle natural gas plant in Becker, Minnesota to replace the retiring coal facilities located there. Instead, Xcel will build two smaller combustion-turbine natural gas facilities, one in Fargo, North Dakota, and one in Lyon County, Minnesota.
Statement from American Experiment policy fellow Isaac Orr:
“Xcel Energy’s decision to turn its back on Becker, MN is bitterly disappointing. Instead of supporting a community that has hosted Xcel since the 1970s, the company is sending many of these jobs – and much of the town’s tax base – to North Dakota.
“This move will harm all Xcel customers because combined cycle (CC) natural gas plants are far more fuel-efficient than combustion turbine (CT) natural gas plants, which means Xcel’s plan will cost electricity customers more money in future fuel costs than building the gas plant in Becker.
“Xcel’s bait and switch with the proposed natural gas plant is especially unconscionable given that the company plans to install a large solar facility in Becker that will limit future growth in its industrial park. Adding insult to injury is the fact that these panels will not be ‘Made in the USA,’ they will likely be made in China with slave labor in factories powered by coal.”