Sierra Club Proposes Alternative to Xcel Resource Plan

Clean Energy For All Plan Saves $2.2 Billion and Reduces Carbon Emissions 90% by 2030

MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- Earlier today, the Sierra Club submitted its comments on Xcel’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC). While Xcel’s IRP includes some actions that are vital to reaching 100% carbon free electricity by 2040 or sooner, it also contains proposals that would make it impossible for them to achieve that goal. Most critically, Xcel has refused to reconsider its ill-advised proposal to build a new 800 MW combined cycle methane gas plant in 2027 (“Sherco CC”). Meanwhile, the Sierra Club’s alternative “Clean Energy for All'' plan would both save ratepayers money and cut carbon when compared to Xcel’s IRP without any new gas plants.

“As the thousands of public comments show, Minnesotans want 100% clean, affordable, reliable energy that will support a resilient economy while reducing carbon emissions,” said Jessica Tritsch, Senior Campaign Representative with Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. “The Sierra Club’s preferred “Clean Energy for All'' plan would allow us to reach 100% carbon free electricity by 2040, if not sooner, all while expanding community and rooftop solar and addressing inequities in our energy system. None of that will be possible, however, if Xcel continues to pour money into wasteful and unnecessary fossil fuel projects like the proposed Sherco fossil gas plant, and to deprioritize programs that help our most at-risk neighbors and communities.”

Highlights of the Sierra Club’s Clean Energy for All plan include:

  • Savings of more than $2 billion over the planning period compared to Xcel’s plan
  • 90% carbon-reduction by 2030 (compared to 80% reduction in Xcel’s plan)
  • All of Xcel’s coal plants retired by 2030
  • No new fossil gas plants
  • Expanding utility-scale paired solar-plus-storage (“hybrid solar”) with more than 4,000 MW of new utility-scale solar and 1,000 MW of new battery capacity
  • More than 1,000 MW of additional battery storage to balance other renewable energy projects
  • More than 2,000 MW of new community solar projects
  • More than 1,800 MW of additional distributed (rooftop) solar
  • No extension of the Monticello nuclear plant’s license beyond 2030

Below is a chart containing a more detailed comparison of Xcel's IRP and Sierra Club's Clean Energy for All plan:

A chart comparing the various components of Xcel's IRP and the Sierra Club's preferred Clean Energy For All plan

Click here to read the full comments submitted by the Sierra Club to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit