(Denver, CO – August 27, 2018) The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) today approved a plan to reduce dangerous air pollution and create a groundbreaking clean energy future for the state, all while saving customers and ratepayers money.
The PUC approved a plan by Xcel Energy, the state’s main electricity provider, to replace two old, dirty coal units with more renewable energy.
“The Colorado Energy Plan has huge benefits for everyone in Colorado. It will slash emissions of carbon and other unhealthy pollution, create jobs in Pueblo County and across the state, and lower electric bills for Colorado families,” said EDF Senior Attorney Graham McCahan. “At a time when the Trump administration is undermining our national clean air protections, it’s especially meaningful to see Pueblo, Xcel, and the State of Colorado working together to secure clean energy solutions that will create healthier communities and shared economic prosperity.”
Xcel’s plan will retire two aging and high-emitting coal units in Pueblo, which will sharply reduce dangerous pollution – including mercury and the pollution that causes smog and soot. The plan will lead to a 60 percent reduction in the carbon pollution that causes climate change.
Xcel will invest $2.5 billion in clean energy for Pueblo and rural Colorado, including investments in new wind and solar energy, battery storage, and transmission upgrades. The plan will also help facilitate a major on-site solar power project that will help keep a major steel mill, and its extensive manufacturing jobs, in Pueblo.
Xcel’s plan is expected to save Colorado customers $213 million from the lower costs of renewable power and savings on maintenance for the two retiring coal units.
A University of Colorado study commissioned by Xcel found that the plan would add 549 jobs statewide, and 133 jobs in Pueblo County, compared to continuing to use the coal units.
EDF is supporting the plan, along with other environmental and energy groups and some local labor groups. Supporters include local organizations such as Pueblo’s Energy Future, statewide and regional organizations such as Western Resource Advocates, clean energy organizations such as Vote Solar, and local governments such as Pueblo County.
You can read more about the issue here.
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