Sherburne County Generating Station, better known as Sherco, is a power-producing workhorse.
But even good workhorses head to the glue factory eventually.
The 2,400 megawatt coal-fired plant in Becker, 45 miles northwest of the Twin Cities, has generated the bulk of Xcel Energy's electricity for Minnesota for more than three decades.
In the next year, Xcel will have to decide what to do about Sherco as it takes what regional vice president Laura McCarten calls "a deep dive analysis" of its power needs. As part of the analysis required of all regulated utilities by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Minneapolis-based Xcel will look at all its alternatives for the next 20 years, making decisions on which plants it will upgrade and keep and which it may retire or replace in the coming years.