Xcel Energy Inc. on Friday told Minnesota regulators that it planned to abandon the proposed $800 million natural gas plant in Becker, Minnesota, that was to have taken over for three coal-fired plants.
Instead, the Minneapolis-based utility said it plans to build two smaller natural gas plants — one in southwestern Minnesota, the other in North Dakota — that will be used only intermittently. Xcel (NYSE: XEL) also said it would invest more in solar and wind-power facilities.
“Our new plan that we’ve proposed today meets the shared goals of our company, customers, communities, and stakeholders to lead the clean energy transition by affordably reducing carbon emissions while maintaining reliable electricity for our region,” said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy-Minnesota, in a statement.
As Minnesota Public Radio reports, the change comes after pressure from environmental advocates who said that Xcel should be focused more on renewable energy sources and less on carbon fuels.