Xcel Energy to close Navajo plant by 2027

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Xcel wants to spend $2.8bn over the next five years upgrading its facilities

Xcel Energy has filed a plan to shutter one of its coal-fired power plants in Colorado.

The Denver-based utility said it would close the Navajo Generating Station – which has 602 megawatts of generating capacity and supplies electricity to three states – by 2027.

Xcel said the number of coal-fired facilities it operates, and the cost of modernising them, had increased significantly.

Activists have voiced concern at the potential impact on power prices.

“We urge Colorado regulators to carefully assess the impact that this premature closure of Navajo will have on Pueblo, Colorado and the renewable energy industry,” said Michael Johnston, executive director of Environment Colorado.

The plans were filed with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which has 180 days to review the proposal.

Clean energy initiatives

After spending $2.8bn (£2.1bn) over the next five years, Xcel expects to invest some $300m in other infrastructure projects, including new electric transmission lines that will increase the capacity of the company’s current power lines by 40%.

“[The plan] does not impact the state’s existing renewable generation,” a company spokesman told the Colorado Independent.

In a press release, the company said it would “serve as a catalyst for efforts to reduce carbon emissions” in the state.

Proponents and opponents of the move have turned to social media to raise awareness of the plans.

Change.org has collected more than 4,200 signatures in support of the closure.

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