Xcel Makes Plans to Cut Mercury Emissions

Xcel Makes Plans to Cut Mercury Emissions

Xcel Energy signaled its intent last week to sharply curb mercury emissions from two power generation plants.

The company plans to spend about $9 million installing sorbent injection systems that will remove as much as 90 percent of the mercury in the coal burned at the Sherburne County Generating Plant Unit 3 and the Allen S. King Plant.

Xcel will spend up to $11 million each year operating and maintaining the systems. Residential customers are expected to see their rates increase as a result by about 16 cents per month.

The actions are required under the Minnesota Mercury Emissions Reduction Act. If approved by the Minnesota Utilities Commission, the company will begin reducing its mercury emissions by late 2009 at the Sherco 3 plant, and by the end of 2010 at the King Plant.

The announcement was made a day after Xcel touted its 2007 environmental efforts, such as plans to add more than 1,000 megawatts of renewable power and reducing its greenhouse gas emissions as part of the Colorado Resource Plan.