U.S. utility Xcel Energy Inc has issued a Request for Proposals (RfP) that seeks to add around 500 MW of newly-built solar power generation in Minnesota.
The utility-scale solar capacity should be located in proximity to the company’s coal-fired Sherburne County (Sherco) power plant in Becker. Through the solicitation, launched on Monday, Xcel Energy is accepting proposals for at least 75 MW of solar projects that will interconnect to the existing infrastructure at the Sherco site. It noted it is open to exceeding the volume of the tender, depending on the proposals.
Interested parties are invited to submit their offers by February 2, 2021. Bid evaluation and selection is scheduled for February 22, while the negotiation of contracts is due to be completed by March 15. Once signed, the contracts will have to be cleared by the respective regulatory commissions in the states where Xcel Energy operates.
All solar parks should be switched on before December 31, 2023.
As previously announced, Xcel Energy will aim to shut down all of its coal-fired facilities in the Upper Midwest so as to achieve an 80% reduction in its carbon emissions in the region. By 2022, it will seek to add 1,850 MW of wind, while over 3,000 MW of solar will become operational by 2030 that will make renewables account for 50% of its total power in the region.
The first two of Sherco’s units are planned to be retired in 2023 and 2026, while Sherco 3 will be shut down in 2030.