Colorado regulators green-light Xcel’s plan boosting renewables, cutting coal | CraigDailyPress.com | CraigDailyPress.com

Colorado regulators green-light Xcel’s plan boosting renewables, cutting coal

Denver Post

Project coordinator Tim Farmer walks past cooling towers for Comanche 3, which will add 750 megawatts of power. Critics cite the plant’s cost and its use of coal, and they question whether, with energy demand dropping, it is even needed. By JUDITH KOHLER/The Denver Post

A plan by Xcel Energy Colorado to boost the share of power it gets from wind and solar and retire a third of its coal generation was green-lighted Monday by state regulators.

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission voted 2-1 in support of what Xcel calls the Colorado Energy Plan, which the company says will cut carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 60 percent, increase renewable energy sources to 55 percent of its mix by 2026 and save customers about $213 million.

As part of the plan, Xcel, Colorado’s largest electric utility, will phase out its Comanche 1 and 2 coal-fired plants in Pueblo about a decade earlier than the original target date of 2035. Xcel says the plan will invest $2.5 billion in eight counties and save customers about $213 million, thanks to the declining costs of renewable energy.

The commission is expected to issue a written decision approving the plan in the first week of September.

Read the full story at The Denver Post.