DENVER – The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted Monday to support a plan to close two coal-fired plants at the Comanche Generating Station in Pueblo.
The board voted to approve the closures, which would happen about 10 years ahead of schedule. The PUC is expected to announce its support in writing by Sept. 4, making the move official.
The plan to close to plants comes from Xcel Energy’s plan to replace the plants with 1131 megawatts of wind, 707 megawatts of solar power, 275 megawatts in battery storage and 400 in natural gas.
The two plants at the Comanche Generating Station currently produce 660 megawatts of coal-fired power. A third coal-fired plant at the station will remain open under the plan.
Opponents to the $2.5 billion ‘Colorado Energy Plan’ said it will cost customers more money.
The Coalition of Ratepayers, which is opposed to the project, issued a statement reacting to the vote Monday night.
“Retiring Comanche I and II early will be a boon to Wall Street at the expense of Main Streets across Colorado. We are disappointed that the Commissioners didn’t require the monopoly utility to keep its promise of a CEP that saves money for customers. Ratepayers’ bills will go up.”
The Coalition also previously argued that the closing of the plants would also cost dozens of jobs.
However, Xcel said the move will provide new opportunities to work with solar and wind energy.
“Employment in particular, skilled employment, high paying jobs are tied to the renewables industry,” said Laura Getts, Energy Coordinator with Pueblo County in an earlier interview with News 5.
Xcel also said the move would help the state cut its greenhouse gas emissions to 60 percent below 2005 levels by 2026.