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Xcel running tests on Sherco coal plant

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Repairs to Xcel Energy's Sherco coal plant in Becker are complete and the utility is running tests to bring Sherco's unit 3 generator back online soon.

Sherco 3 was damaged in an accident in November 2011. Since then, Xcel's been making major repairs, which were originally scheduled to be completed by the end of March. Two other, older generators were not damaged and have continued to operate.

In a letter filed Wednesday with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Xcel said it's performing tests to bring Sherco 3, about 45 minutes northwest of the Twin Cities, back online in the next few weeks.

As of March, the company said the cost to fix the damaged unit was $146 million, with most of it covered by insurance. Xcel reported in March it had spent more than $33 million to offset its customer's energy needs.