Stage 2 of the demolition of the former Fibrominn/Benson Power LLC facility will take place Wednesday morning at the Benson plant, using explosives to bring it down. Stage 1 of the demolition took place Saturday. According to the Forum News Service, the plant was built in 2007 as a unique method of creating electricity by burning turkey manure, wood chips and other biomass products.
Xcel Energy argued that the power produced at the Benson plant cost more than other renewable energy options and added costs to customers, and purchased the plant in 2017 with plans to decommission it and raze it. Xcel agreed to pay the city of Benson over $20 million over four years to offset the loss of property taxes and the 45 jobs the plant provided. Litchfield turkey farmer Greg Langmo, who worked as a fuel manager for the plant for six years, said it was “so sad” the plant is being taken down, noting that it was built to last 100 years. Xcel claimed closing the plant will save its customers “hundreds of millions of dollars over the next decade.”