June 7, 2018 Read More →

Xcel seeks to close two more coal plants, add renewables

Associated Press:

Colorado’s largest electricity provider said Wednesday it wants to retire two coal-fired units a decade early and nearly double the share of power it gets from renewable sources.

Xcel Energy said the changes would reduce its carbon pollution in the state by 60 percent and increase its share of renewable energy to almost 55 percent, up from about 28 percent now. Xcel said the plan would save consumers $215 million by 2054, citing the “historically low” cost of renewables.

Colorado regulators would have to approve the proposals before they go into effect.

The coal-fired units affected are at Xcel’s Comanche Generating Station in Pueblo. One would be retired in 2022, 11 years early, and the other in 2025, 10 years ahead of schedule. A third would remain in operation.

Xcel’s plan calls for purchasing two existing gas-fired generating plants in Colorado and adding five solar farms and three wind farms. Xcel would also renew its contract to buy power from an existing solar farm. Three of the new solar farms would include battery storage.

The company said building and buying the natural gas plants and solar and wind farms will cost $2.5 billion. The facilities would be located in Adams, Baca, Boulder, Cheyenne, Kit Carson, Morgan, Park, Pueblo and Weld counties. The plan calls for adding 1,100 megawatts of generating capacity to Xcel’s system from wind, 700 from solar, 380 from natural gas and 275 from batteries.

More: Colorado utility plans to retire coal plants, add renewables

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