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Tri-State retiring two coal-fired power stations by 2030

Wholesale power producer Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association will retire its remaining New Mexico and Colorado coal-fired plants in the next decade.

Tri-State will close the Escalante coal-fired station in New Mexico by the end of this year. Craig Station and Colowyo Mine in Colorado will be retired by 2030, according to the statement.

“Serving our members’ clean energy and affordability needs, supporting state requirements and goals, and leading the fundamental changes in our industry require the retirement of our coal facilities in Colorado and New Mexico,” said Rick Gordon, chairman of the board of Tri-State and a director of Mountain View Electric Association in eastern Colorado. “As we make this difficult decision, we do so with a deep appreciation for the contributions of our employees who have dedicated their talents and energy to help us deliver on our mission to our members.”

The retirements will impact about 600 employees across the coal-fired facilities. Tri-State said it would work with state and local officials on helping workers through the transition.

“Our focus is on making these changes with the care and respect our employees and their communities deserve – easing the transition whenever and wherever possible,” said Duane Highley, chief executive officer of Tri-State.

The 250-MW Escalante plant was completed in 1984. Craig Station, which generates close to 1,200 MW from three units, began work in the 1970s.

Tri-State will announce a new plan for renewable energy additions sometime in the next week.