BECKER -- Xcel Energy says they'll be closing Sherco Plant 3 in Becker in 2030. The company's announcement Monday includes the retirement of its last two coal plants in the Upper Midwest a decade earlier than scheduled.

The Allen S. King coal plant will close in 2028.

Xcel Energy is accelerating the coal closures in their transition to clean energy that includes expanding wind and solar, using cleaner natural gas and operating its Monticello nuclear plant until at least 2040.

These plans are part of the proposed Upper Midwest Energy Plan, which the company will submit for approval to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in July.

If approved, the plan would lead to a more than 80% reduction in carbon emissions in the region by 2030, compared to 2005, a key stepping stone toward the company achieving its vision to provide customers 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050.

The proposed plans include helping its employees and the communities that have the plants make the transition.  With this plan, Becker is positioned for the buildout of a natural gas plant to ensure Xcel Energy’s rates can remain reliable and cost-effective.

Statement from Mayor Tracy Bertram:

“The announcement of the coal plant closures will have a large impact on our community. Our community has requested the assistance from the state Legislature that would assist with infrastructure expansion in our business park to help us attract new businesses to transition from a coal-based economy. Although the closure will result in a loss of jobs and tax base, this is an opportunity to expand our partnerships as we make this coal-based economy transition successful for the City of Becker, Sherburne County, and the State of Minnesota.”

Senator Andrew Mathews of Milaca and Representative Shane Mekeland of Clear Lake issued the following statement:

“Even after the buildout of a new Xcel Energy natural gas plant in Becker, the early closure of the Unit 3 coal plant will, unfortunately, lead to additional losses of local jobs and tax revenues. This is just another reason why investing in Becker’s business park and attracting local businesses to our community, such as Google, is a top priority.”

Sen. Mathews and Rep. Mekeland co-authored legislation to invest $20.1 million in infrastructure improvements for the Becker business park.

Xcel Energy previously announced the shutting down of Sherco Plants 1 and 2 in Becker by the year 2026.