Colorado regulators vote for Xcel to shut 6 coal-fired plants
From an article by Mark Jaffe in the Denver Post:
The Colorado Public Utilities Commission voted Monday to shut six aging Front Range coal-fired power units and allow Xcel Energy to replace them with a new $530 million gas-fired plant.
Pollution controls, with a $340 million price tag, also were approved for the coal-burning Pawnee plant near Brush and the Hayden plant.
The commission still must decide what to do with the largest coal-burning plant in the Denver area — the Cherokee 4 unit.
“Cherokee 4 is the largest source of air pollution in the Denver area, and it needs to be shut,” said John Nielson, energy-program director for the environmental-policy group Western Resource Advocates.
The closures, which will occur between 2011 and 2017, are part of Xcel’s proposal to meet the state Clean Air- Clean Jobs Act, which seeks to cut nitrogen-oxide pollution by 70 to 80 percent.
Xcel would receive accelerated cost recovery for the investments in a comprehensive plan to cut pollution under the law.
The state is out of compliance with federal clean-air health standards and has to submit a plan next year to the Environmental Protection Agency showing steps to cut pollution.