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ISAAC ORR will be the guest speaker at a “Save Our Sherco” Rally on Oct. 8 in Becker. (Submitted Photo.)

Save Our Sherco rally set for Oct. 8

Xcel Energy is moving forward to build Minnesota’s largest-ever solar project at the Sherco plant in Becker, as it transitions away from using coal at the site in the coming years.

State regulators have signed off on Xcel Energy’s plan but some citizens, politicians and energy advocates are rallying to get Xcel to re-consider.

Save Our Sherco, a mobilization effort launched by the Center of the American Experiment, has been handing out yard signs and  running ads to get the message out that the current regional grid (MISO) has a 1,200-megawatt shortfall and the shutting down of the reliable energy-producing coal units at Sherco would be devastating — not only for citizens seeking electricity but also for the 230 families in the community who depend upon the high-paying union jobs to put food on their tables.

Rep. Shane Mekeland and Sen. Andrew Mathews are organizing a town hall rally to show support of Sherco and to learn how to support the current plant for the future. The event is being held at Becker High School’s cafeteria on Oct. 8 from 2-3 p.m. The event features a special guest speaker in Isaac Orr, an energy and environmental policy expert. Orr is a speaker, researcher, and writer specializing in energy, mining, agriculture, hydraulic fracturing, agricultural, and other environmental policy issues. He is a University of Wisconsin Eau Claire graduate with studies in political science and geology, winning awards for his undergraduate geology research.

Orr also was an aide in the Wisconsin State Senate.