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Joe Deely's picture
Partner Deely Group

Involved with high-tech for last 30 years. Interested in energy.

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  • Jun 26, 2020
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Boom! They keep falling.

The closure of coal across the Western US is accelerating as the continuing drop in cost for renewables and storage makes coal uneconomic. Starting to look like almost all coal plants out West will be gone by 2032.

Friday, the CSU board voted 7-2 to close the Drake by 2023 and the Ray Nixon Plant, south of Colorado Springs, by 2030. CSU says it gets 416 megawatts of coal-fired power.

Instead, CSU will be relying on 500 megawatts of new wind energy, 150 megawatts of solar power, and more than 400 megawatts of battery storage.

According to an analysis by Strategen provided to CSU, decommissioning both of the plants and replacing them with wind energy could save customers more than $150 million.

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jun 26, 2020

Great to see-- any word on what they might plan to do with the physical facilities? The existing T&D infrastructure for coal plants can sometimes be repurposed in a more clean way, so I'm always curious to see when that happens (and that provides continued industry jobs to those who will be out of them when the coal plant drops)

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Jun 27, 2020

The existing T&D infrastructure for coal plants can sometimes be repurposed in a more clean way,

Yeah, this is happening all across the West as solar and wind move in to take advantage of closing coal.

However,  unlike most of these other plants - Drake - is actually located in a large urban area. In fact, its pretty close to downtown - Colorado Springs. So, I'm guessing it won't be repurposed.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jun 29, 2020

Ah interesting how the geography plays in. Wonder if it will instead be more likely to become something like a hipster brewery :)

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