Xcel files plan to close coal-fired power plant in Pueblo - Albuquerque Journal

Xcel files plan to close coal-fired power plant in Pueblo

DENVER — Xcel Energy has proposed a tentative agreement to close Colorado’s largest coal-fired power plant by 2035, well ahead of its original retirement date of 2070, as regulators consider how the largest utility operating in the state can reduce its carbon emissions.

Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy filed the agreement with the state Wednesday affecting its Comanche 3 coal-fired unit at the Comanche Generating Station in Pueblo, Colorado Public Radio reported.

Comanche 3 has faced operational, equipment and financial problems that led to more than 700 days of unplanned shutdowns since 2010 and higher-than-anticipated electricity costs, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission said in a report earlier this year.

If approved, Xcel’s plan to close it could reduce the utility’s carbon dioxide emissions in Colorado by close to 90% this decade, CPR reported.

The $1.3 billion unit went into service in 2010 but has been plagued by poor maintenance and oversight, with electricity costs up to 45% higher than projected, according to the state report. Comanche 3 also was Colorado’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data.

The plan calls for Comanche 3 to run at half-capacity by 2025 and a third of capacity by 2029.

Earlier this year, Xcel Energy proposed advancing Comanche 3′s closure to 2040, part of an $8 billion plan that included new renewable energy and power transmission projects, CPR said. Xcel sought to negotiate with a range or groups including environmentalists before filing its plan, which is supported by state and local governments, including the city and county of Pueblo.

“We think that it meets our major goals,” said Keith Hay, director of policy for the Colorado Energy Office. “It achieves earlier greenhouse gas emissions reductions, it achieves more greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 2030, but just as importantly, it provides security to the city and county of Pueblo.”

Xcel paid nearly $31 million in property taxes to Pueblo last year, and under the proposal it would continue to pay taxes through 2040 either directly or from alternative power generation.

Environmental groups didn’t accept the proposal, arguing it doesn’t go far enough to cut emissions. The utilities commission plans to start hearings on the plan in December and is expected to make a decision early next year.


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Where's the snow? Rockies winter starts with a whimper
Around the Region
Denver's winter has started with a ... Denver's winter has started with a whimper, and the parched mountains to the west aren't faring much better. The Mile High City has already ...
2
Man to face capital murder charge in killing of ...
Around the Region
A 37-year-old man will be charged ... A 37-year-old man will be charged with capital murder in the killing of a suburban Dallas police officer during a shootout in a supermarket ...
3
Federal officials in Houston to investigate highway project
Around the Region
Federal officials investigating a disputed $9 ... Federal officials investigating a disputed $9 billon Houston area highway widening project heard the complaints of residents and activists on Monday who argued the ...
4
1st Texas case of omicron variant reported in Houston ...
Around the Region
A Houston-area woman has been confirmed ... A Houston-area woman has been confirmed as having the first case of the omicron variant of COVID-19 in Texas, state health officials reported Monday. ...
5
Ducey to honor veterans at Pearl Harbor remembrance ceremony
Around the Region
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey will honor ... Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey will honor veterans and service members on Tuesday at the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Ceremony at the Arizona State Capitol. ...
6
Arizona juvenile corrections chief retires; deputy promoted
Around the Region
Gov. Doug Ducey has appointed a ... Gov. Doug Ducey has appointed a new leader for Arizona's juvenile corrections agency. Ducey on Monday announced he's appointed Douglas Sargent as director of ...
7
New study outlines high costs of extreme heat in ...
Around the Region
Extreme heat is expensive. That's the ... Extreme heat is expensive. That's the conclusion of a study presented Monday by The Nature Conservancy, which commissioned a look at the costs of ...
8
Audit: Colorado paid $73 million in bogus unemployment aid
Around the Region
A state audit has found that ... A state audit has found that Colorado likely or potentially paid $73.1 million in fraudulent unemployment claims during the coronavirus pandemic's first year, including ...
9
Colorado man gets 3 years for killing pro bicyclist ...
Around the Region
A man who caused a crash ... A man who caused a crash that killed a professional cyclist in southwest Colorado has been sentenced to three years in prison. Cordell Schneider ...