DENVER – Xcel Energy has proposed a tentative agreement to shut down Colorado’s largest coal-fired power plant by 2035, well ahead of its original retirement date of 2070, as regulators believe the state will How the largest utility operated can reduce its carbon emissions.
Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy filed a settlement with the state Wednesday, affecting the Comanche 3 coal-fired unit at the Comanche Generating Station in Pueblo, Colorado Public Radio reported.
The Colorado Public Utilities Commission said in a report earlier this year that Comanche 3 suffered operational, equipment and financial problems, leading to more than 700 days of unplanned shutdowns since 2010 and electricity costs that exceeded the estimated cost of electricity. I have come
CPR reported that if approved, Excel’s plan to close it could reduce the utility’s carbon dioxide emissions in Colorado by close to 90%.
According to the state report, the $1.3 billion unit went into service in 2010 but was plagued by poor maintenance and oversight, with electricity costs up to 45% higher than estimated. Comanche 3 was also Colorado’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, according to data from the US Environmental Protection Agency.
The plan calls for Komanch 3 to run at half capacity by 2025 and at one-third capacity by 2029.
Earlier this year, Xcel Energy proposed the closure of Comanche 3 by 2040, part of an $8 billion plan that included new renewable energy and power transmission projects, CPR said. Xcel sought to negotiate with a category or groups, including environmentalists, before filing its plan, which is supported by state and local governments, including pueblo cities and counties.
“We think it meets our key goals,” said Keith Hay, policy director for the Colorado Energy Office. “It achieves greenhouse gas emissions reductions first, it achieves greater greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 2030, but just as importantly, it provides protection to the city and county of Pueblo.”
Xcel paid Pueblo about $31 million in property taxes last year, and under the proposal it will continue to pay taxes from either direct or alternative electricity generation until 2040.
Environmental groups did not accept the proposal, arguing that it was not enough to cut emissions. The Utilities Commission plans to begin hearings on the plan in December and is expected to make a decision early next year.