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Becker Power Plant Back In Service After Two Year Shutdown

10/22/2013 - 9:40 AM

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BECKER, Minn. (AP) - Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy says the Sherco 3 power plant is back in service after damage was repaired from a turbine failure nearly two years ago.

The failure happened Nov. 19, 2011, as the 884-megawatt coal-fired plant near Becker was being returned to service following a maintenance outage. The malfunction caused extensive damage to the unit's steam turbine and generator.

Experts found cracking in one row of turbine blades caused by stress erosion. The company says the problem was a function of the original design.

Repair costs are estimated at more than $200 million. Insurance is expected to cover most of the costs.

Sherco 3 is owned jointly by Xcel Energy and the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, which provides electricity to 18 municipally-owned utilities.

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