Xcel Energy announces plan to build largest solar project in Minnesota

Xcel Energy has proposed a plan to build Minnesota’s largest solar energy project.

The announcement Tuesday said the project will be built starting in 2022 with a goal of being completed in 2024. The project would produce enough energy to power 100,000 homes each year, Xcel said.

According to the company, the project would be built near the Sherco power plant in Becker and would share existing transmission infrastructure at the Sherco plant, helping to keep costs low enough to make it one of the lowest-cost solar energy projects in the state.

"As Xcel Energy continues to lead the clean energy transition, we’ll invest in new renewable energy projects that save our customers money while also reducing carbon, helping us achieve our bold plan to reduce emissions 80% by 2030 and keep us firmly on our path to deliver 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050," said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy-Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota. "The Sherco solar project will deliver more of the renewable energy our customers want while also keeping bills affordable for the long-term."

Xcel said the project is a key step in transitioning the Sherco site to generating cleaner energy as it retires all coal plants in the region — including the Sherco plant — within the next decade.