Xcel Energy is fast-forwarding their plan to eliminate coal to generate electricity by the end of 2030 in its entire service area which spans eight states.  Regional Vice President John Marshall says the plan relies heavily on continued use of the utility’s two existing nuclear plants in Minnesota (Prairie Island and Monticello) and doubling-down on renewables such as wind and solar.  Marshall said, “We’ll lean on intermittent natural gas to chase the renewables when they’re not available, and altogether that’s gonna save a lot of dollars, and that’s gonna provide our carbon-free vision.   We’ll probably be at about 80, 85 percent carbon reduction by 2030.” 

Xcel is asking regulators to phase out its coal plant in northwest Texas in 2028, four years earlier than originally planned.  They also plan to shut down a coal plant in Colorado by the end of 2030.  That’s the same target date to decommission the large Sherco coal-fired plant between the Twin Cities and Saint Cloud.