Colorado coal-fired station owners plan to close Unit 2 by 2028, complete retirement by 2030

Empire District Electric Co.'s Riverton Power Plant being converted from coal-fired to combined-cycle

The five owners of a coal-fired Colorado power plant plan to shut down all three units by the end of the decade.

The utility owners in the Yampa Project joint venture announced this week they would close the 410-MW Unit at Craig Station by 2028. Those Yampa Project co-owners include PacifiCorp, Platte River Power Authority, Salt River Project, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and Xcel Energy-Colorado.

The Yampa partners previously said they would retire the 427-MW Craig Unit 1 by the end of 2025 and the 448-MW Unit 3 by 2030. Craig Station is located in Moffat County, Colo., and employs 240 people.

Tri-State operates the plant and will work with local and state officials on developing a transition plan for those employees, according to the release.

“Even though the Unit 2 retirement date is only one year earlier than the full retirement date for Craig Station, the decision weighed heavily on us,” said Duane Highley, CEO of Tri-State. “As we implement our Responsible Energy Plan, we remain focused on working with our partners in the plant, as well as local and state leaders, to support our employees and the community through this transition.”

The three units went into operation in the late 1970s and ‘80s.

Nearly all of Colorado’s coal-fired stations are retired or planned to be closed by the start of the 2030s. The 10-year-old Comanche coal-fired plant owned by Xcel Energy is facing an option of expensive repairs and upgrades or possible closure, according to reports.

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