US-based utility holding company Xcel Energy is planning to close its remaining two coal plants in Minnesota. The two plants that will close are the 511MW Allen S. King station by 2028 and the 939MW Sherco 3 generator by 2030.

The company has worked on an agreement for the closure with a coalition of groups, including environmental and labour organisations such as the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Sierra Club.

The closure of the plants, which is a decade earlier than scheduled, is part of the proposed Upper Midwest Energy Plan which will be submitted in July. The plan is also subject to approval from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and also outlines a path for the company to make a clean energy transition.

Xcel Energy will focus on expanding solar and wind, as well as natural gas usage and continue to use its Monticello nuclear plant until at least 2040.

By 2022, the company’s wind expansion is expected to be completed, adding 1,850MW of wind. Xcel Energy also intends to add more than 3,000MW of new universal solar by 2030.

“Xcel Energy will focus on expanding solar and wind, as well as natural gas usage.”

Xcel Energy Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota president Chris Clark said: “This is a significant step forward as we are on track to reduce carbon emissions more than 80% by 2030 and transform the way we deliver energy to our customers.

“Accelerating the closure of our coal plants and leading this clean energy transition would not be possible without the dedication and support of our key stakeholders. We thank them for their work to put us on a path to deliver 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050.”