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Xcel selling Mankato plant

MINNEAPOLIS — Xcel Energy said Monday it will sell its natural gas-fired power plant in southern Minnesota to Southwest Generation for $680 million and use the funds, in part, to support the coronavirus recovery efforts.

Southwest is based in Denver, Colorado. The 760-megawatt Mankato Energy Center will continue to provide electricity to the company’s Upper Midwest customers.

Xcel says proceeds from the sale will primarily be used to reduce the utility company’s overall financing needs and improve its credit with the net gain from the sale to fund its corporate giving and COVID-19 relief efforts.

“This is an unprecedented time, and we want to do our part to support our communities as we face the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ben Fowke, chairman and CEO, Xcel Energy.

“The Mankato Energy Center and its workforce provides essential services for local and regional economies and that will not change. And now more than ever, the people we serve need safe, reliable, affordable power.”

The sale is expected to close in the third quarter of 2020. and is not expected to have a material impact on short or long-term earnings.

Current employees are expected to continue working at the plant and Xcel Energy will continue buying power from the facility.