Xcel Energy is celebrating the final stage of a $1 billion retrofit of its metro-area power plants. Tuesday afternoon, the company will dedicate the Riverside plant in northeast Minneapolis.
Xcel has converted the Riverside plant to burn natural gas instead of coal. It did the same at St. Paul's High Bridge plant, and at the coal-fired King plant in Oak Park Heights it installed emissions controls.
Riverside plant manager Ken Beadell said the work will bring major reductions in pollutants, and the costs will be paid by ratepayers.
"About $2.73 a month, we think for the emissions reductions we're gaining for the three projects, that's a really good investment for our customers and for the state," Beadell said.
By converting to natural gas, the Riverside plant will reduce mercury emissions 100 percent. Carbon dioxide reductions at the three projects are the equivalent of taking more than 500,000 cars off the road.