Xcel Energy is asking developers to submit proposals for clean energy projects as it aims to replace the generating capacity from a coal-fired plant on the Minnesota-Wisconsin border.

The utility is requesting proposals for approximately 650 MW of new solar or solar and storage projects in Wisconsin, with commercial operation dates from 2027 to 2029.

This would help replace the capacity of the Allen S. King coal-fired plant in Oak Park Heights, Minnesota that is scheduled to retire in 2028. Xcel Energy plans to reuse existing grid connections at the plant site.

Under Xcel Energy’s Upper Midwest Energy Plan, more than 80% of customers’ electricity in the region would be carbon free by the end of the decade. The plan calls for retiring all the company’s coal plants by 2030, dramatically increasing wind and solar energy and extending the use of nuclear energy.

In April, the company broke ground on the Upper Midwest’s largest solar project near Becker, Minnesota, which will replace much of the generation from the first Sherco coal unit that is scheduled to retire later in 2023.

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