On August 17, the 2021 Chamber Lunch was held at River City Extreme in Monticello from 11:30am to 1pm. The goal of this meeting was to give an update of the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant and its plans for the future.

The main speaker at the event was Tom Conboy, the Site Vice President of the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant. Conboy’s role is to provide strategic planning, develop the leadership team and ensure that the plant stays in line with the site’s goals. He has been working for Xcel Energy for over six years.

As of this year, the Monticello Plant will turn 50. The plant is vital to the community as it is the largest taxpayer in the area and provides job opportunities to many residents. The Monticello plant creates over 700 jobs directly and supports nearly 2,000 jobs indirectly. Over 50% of the employees at the plant are from the Monticello area. 

Conboy emphasizes that the employees and teams at the Monticello and Prairie Island plants, as well as at the corporate offices continually strive to do their jobs well and perform maintenance activities to keep the plants in great shape.

“The hard work, sacrifice and passion for what our employees do is the reason why our plant has been able to sustain its high level of excellence and maintain its role as the top nuclear fleet in this country,” Conboy said.

Also discussed at the meeting was new nuclear advancements. Xcel Energy signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NuScale Power, LLC., a company that designs small modular reactors. The MOU creates a framework for future discussions and potential opportunities for partnership between the two companies. 

The need for new technologies is pertinent to Xcel Energy’s carbon-free vision. A future potential partnership with NuScale Power would be an exciting opportunity for Xcel Energy to continually pursue this vision in new and innovative ways.

“Xcel Energy’s goals and values are to provide safe, clean, and reliable energy,” said Conboy. “Both the Monticello and Prairie Island plants are dedicated to Xcel Energy’s vision to be carbon-free by 2050.” 

The plant also strives in regard to community benefit. Monticello employees contribute significantly to the local United Way and are personally involved in volunteering with the community directly.

For those who are interested in giving back to the community, Xcel Energy’s annual Day of Service is open for registration on the Xcel Energy website. The annual one day event has been extended for three days and will take place from September 9 to 11. Volunteer opportunities range from community forestry tree planting to packing sacks of food for hungry children.

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