Xcel’s latest coal-to-gas plan gets scrutiny

DENVER — Economists, power companies and others are reviewing Xcel Energy’s latest ideas for cutting emissions at its coal-fired power plants.

The Colorado Independent Energy Association said Tuesday that Xcel’s newly recommended plan to add new emission controls on the coal-fired Cherokee 4 unit in Denver by 2018, instead of retiring it in 2022 as Xcel proposed in August, would do less to protect the environment.

The association says its members could provide power to Xcel to replace output from Cherokee 4.

Western Resource Advocates says the newly recommended plan wouldn’t provide as many health benefits as replacing the coal plant with a natural gas plant. But state regulators say a new law requires a plan that’s fully implemented before 2018.


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