Unit 3 at Xcel Energy's Sherco Generating Station in Becker is up and running again, after nearly two years of being off-line. The failure of Unit 3 happened on November 19th, 2011 during turbine testing as it was being returned to service following a maintenance outage.
The Sierra Club's "Beyond Coal Campaign" held an event this (Monday) morning outside the Xcel Energy office in St. Cloud. Spokesman Brian Anderson says they've been collecting signatures from residents demanding Xcel retire the Sherco coal-burning power plant in Becker.
A driving force behind Xcel Energy's request for a rate hike is improvements at Minnesota's oldest nuclear power plant which have run $267 million over budget. Workers replaced aging pumps and other equipment at Xcel's Monticello plant during a four-month shutdown.
Xcel Energy says it plans to keep burning coal in the two oldest units at its Sherburne County power plant in Becker in central Minnesota. In a report to regulators, Xcel says sticking with coal is the smartest course, rather than switching to natural gas, at least until the future of environment…