BECKER -- More than two dozen people spoke during a public hearing for the proposed Sherco Solar Project Wednesday.

The public hearing at the Becker High School was part of the permitting process for Xcel Energy's proposed 3200-acre solar farm South of Becker.

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Officials from Nationalgrid Renewables, a partner in the project with Xcel Energy, estimates the 460 Megawatt solar plant will power an average of 100,000 homes a year.

The plant is expected avoid an average of 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent of taking 60,000 gasoline cars off the roads every year.

William Risse, Senior Permit Specialist with Nationalgrid Renewables, estimates $115 million in wages to more than 900 union jobs during construction, and an additional $240 million in local benefits like taxes and landowner payments.

Construction is expected to be complete by January, 2026

A majority of the speakers were in favor of the project. Several labor union leaders spoke on the jobs and economic development to the area.

Those against the project mentioned the effects on the environment and impact on neighboring property.

Written comments on the project will be accepted at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission through May 5th.

 

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