MINNEAPOLIS -- Xcel Energy will move forward with plans to replace the Sherco Power Plant in Becker.

Thursday, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved the final plans necessary to replace the Sherco Power Plant with Sherco Solar, which will become the largest-ever solar project in Minnesota History.

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Chris Clark, president of Xcel Energy-Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota said this is a major step forward.

We are pleased to move forward with the Sherco Solar project. We know it will be a key component to meet our customers’ energy needs as we transition away from coal and closer to our vision to deliver 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050.

Officials at Xcel Energy say the construction of the solar farm will create about 900 construction jobs when the project begins in the summer of 2023.

Xcel Energy claims they have transitioned other coal power plants in Minnesota without laying off employees. Clark said that trend is expected to continue.

We would like to thank the City of Becker and our labor partners for their support for the Sherco Solar project. We look forward to continuing to work closely with state and local communities to bring new jobs and capital investments as the Sherco coal plants retire and the Sherco Solar project moves forward.

The first phase of the solar project is expected to be complete in 2024 and the second phase in 2025.

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