Closing all of Xcel’s coal-fired power plants will cost Colorado consumers $1.4 billion |

Closing all of Xcel’s coal-fired power plants will cost Colorado consumers $1.4 billion

Shuttering plants to meet the state’s greenhouse gas emissions goals carries a hefty price tag, including costs of bonds to finance the wind down

Mark Jaffe
Colorado Sun

The price tag for Xcel Energy closing all its Colorado coal-fired plants will be $1.4 billion spread over decades — a sum that will be paid exclusively by the utility’s residential and commercial customers.

The closure estimates and their financing are part of the $8 billion electric resource and clean energy plan submitted last month to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission for approval.

The cost for shutting all or part of the five coal-fired units is sure to be a flashpoint in PUC hearings on the plan, especially the price of closing Comanche 3, Xcel’s newest and most expensive unit, which makes up two-thirds of the closure costs.

Across the country utilities, consumer advocates and utilities commissions are wrestling with the cost of closing coal-fired power plants, which are under economic and environmental pressures to close.

Between 2010 and 2019 more than 546 coal-fired units totaling 102 gigawatts were shuttered and another 17 GW of capacity will close by 2025, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

To read the rest of the Colorado Sun article, click here.

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