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Xcel Energy sets 2027, 2028 retirement dates for Colo. coal plant

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Xcel Energy sets 2027, 2028 retirement dates for Colo. coal plant

Xcel Energy Inc. announced Jan. 4 that it reached an agreement with co-owners of its coal-fired Hayden Generating Station in Routt County, Colo., to move up a planned retirement.

Unit 1 at the plant began operating in 1965 and was originally scheduled for retirement in 2030, Xcel Energy said in a news release. Unit 2 began operating in 1976 and was scheduled to be shut down in 2036. Now, unit 2 will be retired by the end of 2027, with unit 1 following in 2028.

Xcel Energy, through its Public Service Co. of Colorado utility, owns about 75% of the 179-MW unit 1 and 37.5% of unit 2 and operates the plant. Arizona utility the Salt River Project owns a 50% interest in unit 2. PacifiCorp owns the remaining interest in both units.

The plant's coal in 2020 came from Peabody Energy Corp.'s Foidel Creek Mine, also in Routt County, Colo., according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

Details on the early closures will be included in Xcel Energy's electric resource plan the utility said it will bring before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission in March. The plan will forecast customer electricity needs through 2030. The utility said it will likely propose in the plan to add more wind, solar and flexible dispatchable resources.

The early closure of Hayden is part of the company's plan for an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and to provide 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050.

The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission recently moved for early closure of the Hayden plant.

Xcel Energy said it will work with local communities and stakeholders on new uses of the Hayden site to promote clean energy innovation and economic opportunity in the northwest Colorado region.

The company said it does not expect to lay off any of the plant's 75 employees. Instead, Xcel Energy said it will manage the transition through retraining, attrition and retirement with the plant's co-owners and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 111.