Check out market updates

Xcel: 2030 Comanche closure to be final move away from coal

MINNEAPOLIS — Xcel Energy Inc.’s (NYSE: XEL) Comanche 3 coal plant in Pueblo will be the utility’s final coal operation between 2028 — when Xcel’s Tolk Generating Station in Texas closes, four years earlier than previously planned — and 2030, when Comanche 3 will be retired. 

The timing of closure of the Pueblo coal plant — initially set for 2040, then for 2034 — has been an issue for regulators with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, some of whom have wanted Comanche 3 retired sooner rather than later. 

The accelerated closure plan at Comanche, announced this year, and at the Tolk plant in the Texas panhandle, announced Monday, are part of Xcel’s pledge to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2030 for electric customers and provide 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050.

“As the first energy provider in the nation to set ambitious goals for addressing all the ways our customers use energy — electricity, heating and transportation — we are always striving to provide our customers cleaner energy resources, while saving them money,” Xcel CEO Bob Frenzel said in a prepared statement. “Advancing the retirement of coal operations at Tolk Station demonstrates our commitment to our clean energy strategy, while ensuring our customers and communities have reliable, affordable and safe service.”

The earlier-than-planned Comanche closure was part a settlement struck with Colorado regulators in April that also provides for:

  • Closing of the coal-fired units at the Hayden Generating Station by 2027.
  • Conversion of the Pawnee Generating Station in Brush from coal-fired to natural gas.
  • Energy resource additions of 2,400 megawatts of wind, 1,600MW of solar and 400MW of energy storage.

Source: BizWest