Xcel explores earlier closure of coal-fired unit

DENVER — Xcel Energy is studying whether it can speed up its timetable for retiring some coal-fired power plants to help Colorado meet federal clean air standards.

A new state law required the utility to file a plan to reduce emissions by the end of 2017.

Xcel’s preference is to add emissions controls at some plants, retire some coal-fired generating units and switch others to run on natural gas by then, but leave one coal-fired unit in Denver open until 2022.

The Colorado Independent Energy Association says that’s not soon enough.

Xcel says it still prefers to close the last unit in 2022, but it is exploring the costs and feasibility of doing it by 2017.

Colorado regulators must approve, reject or modify Xcel’s plan by Dec. 15.


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