Colorado coal-fired power plant to close ahead of schedule

DENVER (AP) — The owner of a Colorado coal-fired power plant announced plans to close the facility by 2028, years earlier than originally planned.

Xcel Energy-Colorado and partners PacifiCorp and the Salt River Project plan to close Hayden Generating Station's two operating units, The Denver Post reports.

Unit 2 of the plant in northwest Colorado will be retired by the end of 2027 while Unit 1 will be closed in 2028, the company said Monday.

The original retirement dates were 2030 for Unit 1 and 2036 for Unit 2.

The plant’s early closure is part of Xcel Energy’s plan to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2030 and deliver carbon-free electricity to customers by 2050, utility officials said.

Xcel Energy could make greater environmental and economic strides by closing the plant earlier, environmentalists said.

“Colorado has a goal to reduce climate pollution 26% by 2025, and currently we’re not on track to achieve this science-based goal," Erin Overturf of Western Resource Advocates said in a statement.

The Sierra Club said in a statement that Xcel’s announcement comes weeks after the state Air Quality Control Commission reversed a decision to close three Colorado coal plants ahead of schedule. Xcel Energy and other utilities asked the commission to reverse the decision.