Clean air bill to retire Xcel coal plants
DENVER - Xcel Energy will retrofit or retire several of its Front Range coal-fired power plants during the next seven years under the Colorado Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act that Gov. Bill Ritter signed Monday morning.
"This law is a template for tomorrow that allows us to transform our energy portfolio, our economy and our environment by working strategically and collaboratively," Ritter said at the signing ceremony at the Capitol. "By shifting our oldest and least efficient coal plants to cleaner, Colorado-produced natural gas, we send a strong message to the rest of the country that we absolutely can cut air pollution and protect public health while also creating jobs and protecting ratepayers."
The law requires Xcel to cut nitrous oxide emissions by as much as 80 percent by the end of 2017. The company will submit a plan of action to the Public Utilities Commission by Aug. 15 with details of how it will retire or retrofit 900 megawatts of coal-fired capacity along the Front Range.
"This law gives us a great opportunity to address the issues of regional haze and ozone in a comprehensive fashion, with some certainty for our customers," said Xcel Chairman and CEO Dick Kelly, who attended the signing ceremony at the Capitol.