Colorado Governor on Xcel’s Step Toward Renewable Energy

Gov. Polis Statement on Xcel’s Next Step Toward Renewable Energy

DENVER, CO (STL.News) Governor Jared Polis and administration officials applauded Xcel Energy-Colorado’s plan to ramp up the company’s use of renewable energy and end all coal use by the end of the decade.  Aligning closely with the Polis Administration’s bold climate and renewable energy goals, the proposed plan would provide over 80% of energy from renewable resources and reduce pollution beyond state targets by 2030.

“As our administration continues to fight for clean air and ensure 100% renewable energy by 2040, we welcome partnership to save people money by protecting ratepayers from the high operating costs of coal plants, provide transformative investments in rural Colorado for wind and solar generation, and increase good-paying green jobs to support clean, renewable energy,” said Gov. Polis.  “I am proud of our work with Colorado’s utility providers to secure commitments to reduce emissions by at least 80% by 2030.”

The proposed plan was submitted to the Public Utilities Commission for approval.  Under the new settlement, Comanche Unit 3, a coal-fired power plant in Pueblo, Colorado, will reduce operations starting in 2025 and retire by the end of 2030.  Comanche Units 1 and 2 are already scheduled to retire by 2025.  Xcel is also agreeing to substantial Just Transition provisions, including providing Pueblo County ten years of property tax payments to account for lost revenue from the plant closure.

“This settlement agreement represents major progress towards Colorado’s clean energy goals, moving the Xcel system to an affordable, reliable future with more than 80% renewable energy, retiring Colorado’s last coal generation after 2030, while supporting tax revenues and jobs in coal communities, and bringing billions of dollars of investment to rural Colorado.” said Colorado Energy Office Executive Director Will Toor.  “I am grateful for the leadership shown by Xcel and the settling parties.”

“Xcel is setting an admirable standard for utility support for the communities and workers who are affected by the transition away from coal,” said Wade Buchanan, Director of the Colorado Office of Just Transition.  “By committing to transition all affected workers, completely avoiding layoffs and providing substantial property taxes when they close these plants, Xcel will give a major boost to the economic transition in places like Hayden and Morgan County and Pueblo.”