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FERC clears Xcel to purchase, retire Minn. biomass facility

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved Xcel Energy Inc.'s application to purchase the Fibrominn biomass facility in Swift County, Minn., from Benson Power LLC.

Xcel Energy subsidiary Northern States Power Co. - Minnesota is under a 21-year power purchase program with Benson Power, according to a Feb. 23 regulatory filing. However, Northern States Power said in the original application that it purchases the energy at "significantly higher" rates than current wholesale power market prices.

The Xcel Energy utility plans to retire the site after purchase, once the stocked fuel is consumed. (FERC docket EC17-166)