November 30, 2021 Read More →

Xcel reaches settlement over plan, will push up coal plant retirements

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Xcel Energy Inc. reached a settlement with 11 parties over its electric resource plan in Colorado, where the company plans to move up coal plant retirements as it adds renewable energy to its grid.

Xcel said the settlement would result in an estimated carbon emissions reduction from its power plants of 87% by 2030, based on 2005 levels. Xcel has set a goal for an 85% carbon emissions reduction by 2030 as it strives for carbon-free power by midcentury.

Colorado Public Utilities Commission members are expected to make a decision on the resource plan in the first half of 2022. The plan, which Xcel initially pitched to regulators in March, includes the addition of 3,900 MW of wind and solar energy, 400 MW of battery storage and 1,300 MW of “flexible dispatchable resources.” (Proceeding No. 21A-0141E)

In a settlement filed with the PUC on Nov. 24, Xcel agreed to move up the retirement date of Unit 3 of the coal-fired Comanche plant in Pueblo County, Colo., to Dec. 31, 2034. Xcel initially proposed to retire the 856.8-MW Unit 3 by 2040, decades ahead of its useful lifespan. Xcel valued the unit at $626 million in a securities filing. Under the settlement, Xcel would own “at a minimum” the capital investment equivalent to the unit’s estimated net book value.

Xcel, which operates as Public Service Co. of Colorado in the state, shares ownership of Unit 3 with Holy Cross Electric Assn Inc and CORE Electric Cooperative. Holy Cross signed on to the settlement.

[Justin Horwath]

More: Xcel pushes up coal plant retirement as part of Colo. resource plan

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