MINNEAPOLIS (WJON News) - Xcel Energy has announced its plans to be a net-zero energy provider by 2050.

If approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, the $58 million Natural Gas Innovation Plan in Minnesota expects to reduce or avoid 54,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide over the lifetime of the plan, the equivalent of taking 12,000 gas-powered cars off the road every year.

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Chris Clark, president of Xcel Energy—Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota, says the plan is part of Xcel Energy’s commitment to work with the state of Minnesota and the Natural Gas Innovation Act, passed by the legislature in 2021.

Xcel Energy shares Minnesota’s bold vision for a clean energy future. To achieve that vision, we need to use every tool we have. This plan moves us toward a cleaner natural gas system while continuing to serve our Minnesota customers with reliable, affordable energy to power their lives.

Excel Energy plans a number of projects to make the goal, including:

  • Using renewable natural gas (RNG) generated from livestock waste in western Minnesota and materials diverted from landfills in Shakopee and Inver Grove Heights.
  •  A clean hydrogen project at the Sherco plant site in Becker to create steam for industrial use. The 5-megawatt electrolyzer would use renewable energy from solar or wind facilities to produce clean hydrogen.
  • Advanced methane leak detection will enable Xcel Energy to further reduce leakage from its distribution system.
  • Carbon offsets related to forest management, tree planting and a biochar project that uses organic material diverted from a landfill.
  • An approximately 500-ton ground source heat pump project to provide building heating and cooling in an urban area.
  • Strategic electrification, including custom projects with energy modeling for large customers.
  • A weatherization and strategic electrification program for tribal housing that includes manufactured homes at the Prairie Island Indian Community near Red Wing.

Officials with Xcel Energy said the plan will create 417 construction jobs as well as training and workforce development programs for existing staff.

The proposal includes approximately $18.6 million in tax credits and rebates from the federal Inflation Reduction Act. Officials estimate the cost of the planned projects to Xcel Energy customers to be about $1.39 per month from 2025 to 2029.

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