• News
  • Celebrities
  • Finance
  • Crypto
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Health
  • Others

Conservationists concerned that Colorado power company is building conventional coal plant

Conservation groups deeply involved in the resource acquisition planning process for Westminster-based Tri-State Generation and Transmission say they’re very concerned the state’s second largest power supplier behind only Xcel Energy is planning to build an 895-megawatt conventional, coal-fired power plant just across the state line in Holcomb, Kan.

“Their resource plan shows no need for that plant of that size during the entire 20-year period of their plan,” Bruce Driver, a consultant and former executive director of Western Resource Advocates, told the Colorado Independent recently. “At the same time, they are pouring money into Holcomb 2, which they will own if it gets built.”

The plant has been approved by Kansas regulators but stalled by a Sierra Club lawsuit and Tri-State’s lack of clarity on whether it plans to actually go ahead with the plant. Opponents estimate Tri-State has already spent between $50 million and $100 million of ratepayer money on the facility.

Driver fears the company that supplies power to 44 member-owned rural electric associations in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and Nebraska is planning to become a regional power wholesaler – something WRA would strongly oppose.

The months-long resource planning process stemmed from an agreement between Tri-State and WRA that received the blessing of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, which at the time was considering an attempt to regulate the company the way it oversees publicly owned utilities like Xcel.

Tri-State developed a 400-plus-page planning document heavy on renewable energy, efficiency programs and natural gas – largely appeasing environmental groups concerned about global climate change and the carbon dioxide, mercury and nitrogen oxide emissions of coal plants. But then Tri-State refused to rule out building Holcomb 2.

“Tri-State agreed in the plan that [renewable energy] was the path forward, but then they have this business plan and at the same time they continue to pour money into a giant coal-fired power plant in Kansas,” Driver said. “It’s the business plan that seems to be the guiding document for what they’re going to do, and they won’t let us see that.”

At a meeting on its resource plan in Westminster on Monday, Tri-State officials would not pull Holcomb off the table.

“We are constantly investigating a variety of resources,” Tri-State general counsel Ken Reif said, according to the Denver Post. “Renewables, gas, coal, nuclear, demand-side management — all those things continue to be under continuous investigation by Tri-State.”

The Colorado PUC does not regulate member-owned co-ops, but a state law passed in 2007 does require the 18 Colorado co-ops serviced by Tri-State to obtain 10 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020. By contrast, publicly owned Xcel and Black Hills Electric must meet Colorado’s aggressive 30 percent renewable energy standard (RES) by 2020.

Still, Xcel invested more than $1 billion in the new Comanche 3 coal-fired power plant in Pueblo, and two Colorado co-ops that don’t obtain power from Tri-State – Holy Cross and the Intermountain Rural Electric Association – chipped in a combined $466 million on Comanche 3. Coal is still king when it comes to cheap electricity, but environmentalists warn that health costs and air quality issues will continue to make it more expensive.

“Our board reserves the right to make the best decisions for our consumers — which may or may not include development of the Holcomb plant,” Tri-State senior manager of public affairs Lee Boughey said at Monday’s meeting, according to the Post.

However, a former Colorado PUC chairman in 2009 told the Colorado Independent that Tri-State may be legally obligated to reveal the looming costs and uncertainty associated with coal, which at the time was in the crosshairs of congressional climate change legislation that never materialized.

Still, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is plowing ahead with emissions requirements in New Mexico and elsewhere that will continue to add short-term costs to coal – one of the reasons Xcel worked out a deal to convert many of its aging coal-fired power plants on Colorado’s Front Range to natural gas or renewables.

Besides being subject to that much lower renewable energy standard than Xcel in Colorado, Tri-State and its member co-ops are under no such mandate in either Wyoming or Nebraska. New Mexico in 2007 did pass a law requiring 10 percent renewable power for co-ops by the year 2020.

In Colorado in early 2010, Xcel provided about 55 percent of the electricity statewide, Black Hills 4 percent, Tri-State 23 percent and municipal utilities 18 percent.

Follow David O. Williams on Twitter.

Discussion & Comments (0)

    Recent Articles

    • Things You Should Know about North America

      Things You Should Know about North America

      Get to know more about North America.

    • Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Paula Seling's experience on the Eurovision stage led her to declare that "Eurovision is an unpredictable contest". Which may explain the success of the young Lena from Germany, about whom the predictions before the event did not offer much chances for victory.

    • VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      Have you ever contemplated creating a user-friendly site dedicated to sports-related free live streaming channels?

    • Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia users are able to watch thousands of videos and other contents online. XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia New is a piece of software that enables people to watch videos online without having to pay for memberships. On a graphics card, the XNXubd also provides some of the best gaming and virtual reality experiences.

    • Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      A new edition of the Video Editor Apk for xVideostudio.Video Studio has all the latest features, including support for multiple video download formats in HD, FHD, and even 4K resolutions.

    • 9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      Masturbation is a common activity for men and women. It's a natural and risk-free way to explore your body, experience pleasure, and release sexual tension.

    • Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Without having to sign up or pay anything, you can watch movies online for free with SFlix. It has more than 10,000 movies and television shows.

    • Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Collins (born May 11, 1997) is a rapper from the United States. Leray started publishing songs to SoundCloud in 2014, and in 2018 she released her breakthrough track "Huddy" as well as her first mixtape, Everythingcoz.

    • Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Are you in a bind and looking for a place to obtain free mp3 songs? Never again will you need to bother, since this article has everything necessary to obtain your solution. Download free music from MyfreeMP3.com, one of the world's most popular websites.