Legislation that paves the way for the construction of a natural gas plant to be built on the site of the current Sherco plant in Becker was signed into law on Tuesday. The bill, authored by Sen. Andrew Mathews (R-Milaca), allows Xcel Energy to continue its plan to build an $800 million natural gas combined-cycle electric generation plant on the site of its current Sherco coal plant in
“I am tremendously pleased that this bill has become law,” said Sen. Mathews. “The citizens of Becker and surrounding communities rely on the Sherco plant for hundreds of good-paying jobs
and three-fourths of the Becker’s property tax revenue. With this legislation now law, the uncertainty surrounding the plant’s future can end.”
The initial plan from Xcel Energy had been stalled by the Public Utilities Commission, which ordered a cumbersome regulatory process that clouded the project’s future. The bill, which had the backing of community leaders from across Sherburne County, does not eliminate the Public Utilities Commission’s utility oversight, but does allow the regulatory process to continue at a more reasonable speed and contains built-in provisions to protect both consumers and ratepayers. The bill passed both the House and the Senate with bipartisan support within the past two weeks.
“This is a good day for the folks of Becker, Sherburne County, and Minnesota,” Sen. Mathews continued. “This has been the number one issue for many of my constituents. I am proud that we have been able to work together to find a way to get this done for east central Minnesota.”
Sen. Mathews is in his first term representing Senate District 15, which includes communities in Benton, Kannabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Sherburne, and Wright counties.