BECKER (WJON News) - Xcel Energy has sold off another tract of land near the Sherco Power Plant in Becker.

Since officials announced the depowering of the coal-fired Sherco power plant, Xcel has announced the construction of three solar farms that, when completed in 2025, will provide 710 megawatts of power, or enough to power 150,000 homes per year.

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In addition, Xcel has sold two tracks of land to companies interested in building data centers on the property; 295 acres were sold for $17.7 million to Mircosoft last February, and recently sold another 348 acres to Elk River Technologies.

In a statement, Xcel officials said:

The data center is an exciting addition to the wide range of other projects planned for the Becker area. As we decommission the coal units at the nearby Sherco plant in phases, we are developing new transmission lines, innovative energy storage, and the Upper Midwest’s largest solar installation. These projects make the site a nexus for the clean energy transition.

Officials say the sale represents a billion-dollar capital investment in Becker that could yield 100 permanent jobs and 1,200 construction positions.

Xcel Energy is committed to helping the communities we serve prosper. We collaborate with businesses looking to expand their footprint as well as state, regional, and local organizations to bring about economic growth and job creation.

Where are the new project locations?

Sherco Solar (Phase 1 & 2 in purple, Phase 3 in red):

Map: Xcel Energy
Map: Xcel Energy
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The Microsoft Data Center:

Map: Xcel Energy
Map: Xcel Energy
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The Elk River Technologies Data Center:

Map: Xcel Energy
Map: Xcel Energy
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