Xcel Energy Proposes Emissions Reduction, Capacity Expansion at Sherco Power PlantThursday January 4, 2:29 pm ET MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Xcel Energy has proposed an emissions reduction project at its Sherburne County coal-fired power plant (Sherco) in Becker, Minn., in connection with a plan to increase generating capacity at the station to meet customers' growing needs. "Under our plan, Xcel Energy customers would receive a cleaner environment and additional base-load energy," said Richard Kelly, Xcel Energy's chairman, president and CEO. "We believe the proposal is consistent with Minnesota's vision for reducing environmental impacts from electricity generation."Noting that Xcel Energy shares growing concern regarding carbon emissions, which many blame for global warming, Kelly said the company will ensure that the proposal does not result in additional carbon emissions even after the capacity expansion.Sherco is a 2,400-megawatt, three-unit plant located about 45 miles northwest of the Twin Cities. The proposal would add a total of 140 megawatts of capacity for Xcel Energy's customers and take a major step toward extending the plant's life while significantly reducing emissions of mercury, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and particulates. A portion of the proposal requires approval by Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, which owns part of Sherco Unit 3.Xcel Energy filed the proposal Tuesday with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. By Sept. 1, Xcel Energy plans to file a petition seeking rate rider recovery for the project, which preliminary estimates indicate would cost approximately $900 million. Stakeholders will have the opportunity to comment on the proposal, and the Minnesota commission is expected to decide the case in 2008. If approved, Xcel Energy plans to begin construction on the project in late 2008 and complete work by 2012.Xcel Energy's filing is posted on the company's Web site at www.xcelenergy.com.Xcel Energy is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company with regulated operations in eight Western and Midwestern states. Xcel Energy provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.3 million electricity customers and 1.8 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis. More information is available at www.xcelenergy.com.Contact:Xcel Energy, MinneapolisMedia Relations, 612-215-5300www.xcelenergy.comSource: Xcel Energy
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