DENVER - Tues., June 16, 2020 - The Platte River Power Authority (PRPA) today announced it will close its coal-fired Rawhide Energy Station Unit 1 by 2030. Previously, PRPA plans showed the Rawhide coal power plant in Wellington operating until 2047---today's announcement will shorten its retirement by 16 years and mark the end to all coal-fired generation for utility. This notice comes as PRPA is considering a broader electric resource plan, which currently has four scenarios under review. Two of those scenarios include retiring the Rawhide coal plant by 2030 and will provide emissions reductions of 90% or more below 2005 levels by 2030. PRPA's decision regarding the Rawhide coal-fired plant will help Colorado reach the state's renewable energy and climate goals, reduce ozone levels and improve visibility.
Will Toor, executive director of the Colorado Energy Office, said, "Platte River Power Authority's announcement is an important step forward for Colorado's renewable energy future. The dropping costs of wind, solar and storage are making it feasible and cost effective for utilities to close coal plants and replace them with low cost nonpolluting generation. To achieve Colorado's climate goals, we know utilities will need to reduce emissions by at least 80% by 2030, and this is a significant step in that direction. We congratulate PRPA for its leadership and look forward to working with them as they adopt a full electric resource plan that meets or exceeds the state's goals."
"The early retirement of the Rawhide coal plant is a win for Coloradans and an important step in meeting our ambitious air quality and climate change goals. We applaud Platte River Power Authority's leadership on moving towards carbon-free electricity. We're building a healthier, happier, more prosperous future for Colorado, and that future will be powered by renewable energy. Today's announcement is further proof that Colorado is advancing a comprehensive, pioneering strategy for improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions," said John Putnam, environmental programs director of the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment.
Governor Polis is acting to address Colorado's climate crisis through a bold vision to get to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040 and meet the science-based targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution 50% by 2030 and 90% below 2005 levels by 2050 established in House Bill 19-1261. Under the direction of the Governor's Climate Cabinet, several state agencies including the Colorado Energy Office and the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment are working together to develop a GHG Pollution Reduction Roadmap of actions that will reduce greenhouse gas pollution. In addition, the Air Quality Control Division and the Air Pollution Control Division are working to address other air quality challenges, such as ground-level ozone and regional haze.
About the Colorado Energy Office
To deliver on the vision of a prosperous, clean energy future for Colorado, the Colorado Energy Office works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and consumer energy costs by advancing clean energy, energy efficiency and zero emission vehicles to benefit all Coloradans. Go to colorado.gov/energyoffice to learn more.
About the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment
The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment strives to advance Colorado's health and protect the places we live, learn, work, and play. Everything the department does is to ensure a healthy and sustainable Colorado where current and future generations thrive. For more information, go to colorado.gov/cdphe.