Should natural gas plant replace coal in becker_

A state regulatory board is expected to decide Thursday whether to approve Xcel Energy’s plan for producing energy for the next 15 years, including closing two units at the Sherco coal plant in Becker.

The state’s largest energy utility is proposing to retire Sherco units 1 and 2 in 2023 and 2026. 76 gas credit card login They would be replaced with a 780-megawatt combined cycle natural gas plant in Becker, along with more solar and wind production. Sherco’s Unit 3, which is newer and has more modern pollution controls, would keep operating.

Environmental groups have long fought for the retirement of Sherco, the Upper Midwest’s largest coal plant and a major source of carbon emissions and greenhouse gases.

But even as they prepare to celebrate a major victory if the plan is approved, clean energy groups are calling on the PUC to delay committing to a new natural gas plant in Becker. The groups, including Fresh Energy and the Sierra Club, say that while it’s less polluting than coal, natural gas is still a fossil fuel.

“There are clear environmental, climate and health impacts that come from the extraction and the burning of natural gas,” said Jessica Tritsch, senior organizing representative with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. “At this point, we believe that there needs to be more analysis to look at what can be an option for replacement.”

Renewable energy resources such as solar and wind are continuing to drop in price and are comparing favorably to natural gas in value, Tritsch said. Kite electricity generation While natural gas looks like the best economic option right now, that might change, she said.

“Maybe right now, economically that makes the most sense,” Tritsch said. Electricity in water experiment “But locking in a gas plant to be built 10 years down the line — the energy system is going to be very different at that point.”

In a statement, Jonathan Adelman, Xcel’s associate vice president of strategic resources and business planning, said the utility is looking forward to having the PUC consider Xcel’s “long-term plan to transform our energy fleet, reduce carbon emissions and more than double our renewable energy in the next 15 years.”

“Our plan is cost effective for customers, provides a reliable electric system for the region and continues our commitment to the communities we serve,” Adelman stated.

One of those communities, Becker, is hoping for a new natural gas plant to help ease some of the economic blow of losing the two Sherco units.

If Xcel retires Sherco 1 and 2 but doesn’t build the gas plant in Becker, the city would lose about two-thirds of the $2.7 million in annual property tax revenue it receives from Sherco, Kleis said. Gas pain in chest The impact would be felt not just by the city of Becker, but by the school district, Sherburne County and surrounding area, he said.

Becker City Council member Rick Hendrickson said the city would still be losing a significant number of jobs if a natural gas plant replaces the Sherco units, which employ about 150 people. Hp gas online payment A natural gas plant would add 15-20 jobs, he said.

A natural gas plant also could help the city lure new economic development, Hendrickson said. Grade 6 electricity unit plan Faced with the retirement of Sherco, Becker has been aggressively pursuing other industrial businesses.

“Obviously, one of the things we can go out and offer is that we have an abundant source of large power right next to us,” he said. C gastronomie plateaux repas “Your big power users — that’s very attractive to them.”

State Rep. F gas regulations r22 Jim Newberger has argued for keeping coal at Becker. Electricity and magnetism equations The Becker Republican tried last session to require Xcel to build the natural gas plant in Becker.

“I’m trying to salvage the economic future of Central Minnesota,” Newberger said. K electric jobs test “If Xcel’s going to close the Sherco 1 and 2, then I’m going to do everything in my power to keep the infrastructure here, and that means bringing a gas plant.”

“We live in Minnesota, and it’s very cold here and it’s very dark here for half the year, and we need affordable, reliable energy,” he said. Zyklon b gas canister for sale Right now, coal, natural gas and nuclear are the three best options, Newberger said.

But some clean energy advocates argue that given how fast the energy industry is transforming, it’s difficult to predict what the best option will be in 10 years when the Sherco units are retired.

“We want to make sure that we’re using the time that we have to be innovative and creative in figuring out what the best solution is,” Tritsch said.

Rose Thelen, a Clearwater resident and longtime advocate for clean energy, said part of the resource plan should be about the economic transition away from coal.

“The jobs in our area should not be dependent upon allowing the kind of industry that has a serious impact on our health and on the air and water quality,” she said.

Thelen noted that the renewable energy industry is producing jobs. Specjalizacja z gastroenterologii A 2014 estimate from the Department of Employment and Economic Development estimated the number of people employed in the clean energy sector in Minnesota at 15,300.

“Obviously, it’s important that people have jobs and the economy stays vital,” Thelen said. Bp gas prices chicago “But to shift to clean energy does not mean the death knell.”