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MINNEAPOLIS-Xcel Energy, the locally based utility company, won approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission for its Insolvent NRG Energy unit to solicit creditors to back its reorganization plan.

Part of that plan includes an agreement in which NRG Energy, the struggling unit of Xcel, will pay $35 million to settle a dispute with Shaw Group, a contractor based in Baton Rouge, LA, over work done on the Pike power plant project it was building for NRG in Holmesville, MS. The company sued NRG a year ago claiming it had not been paid for the work it had done on the unfinished project. Shaw had worked on the project through its subsidiary Stone & Webster, which was the engineering, procurement and construction contractor on the Pike project. Shaw says it will also retain ownership of the materials and equipment on the Pike project site, except for the turbines, as well as ownership of the project site.

The litigation will be dismissed as a result of the agreement, which is subject to bankruptcy court approval. Xcel officials expect the reorganization plan to be approved by mid-December, with payments to creditors of about $752 million to be done next year.

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