FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Xcel Energy is proposing two natural gas-fired power plants in southeastern North Dakota to help meet electricity needs during times of peak demand in the upper Midwest in coming years.

The plants would be built near Hankinson, about 70 miles south of Fargo, if they are approved by regulators. The proposed site is near both a natural gas pipeline and an electrical transmission line, according to The Forum newspaper.

The plants would go into service in 2018 and 2019. Each would be capable of generating up to 215 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power about 130,000 homes.

Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy also has proposed a 215-megawatt natural gas-powered peaking plant near Minneapolis that would go into operation in 2017. The three plants are planned to meet a gradual increase in power demand in Xcel’s service area, which includes Minnesota and the Dakotas.

If the two North Dakota plants are built, they would be the first power generation plants in North Dakota to be owned and operated by Xcel, which has 90,000 electricity customers in the state, mostly in the eastern cities of Fargo and Grand Forks.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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