by Amy Cooke, Independence Institute EVP and E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow
As Appearing in The Hill
Just because President Obama’s controversial and costly Clean Power Plan is dead at the federal level doesn’t mean Colorado ratepayers are out of financial danger. Nearly 1.4 million state electricity customers await a Colorado Public Utilities Commission (COPUC) decision on Xcel Energy’s legally tenuous Colorado Energy Plan (CEP).
With COPUC approval, Xcel, the state’s largest monopoly utility, plans to shift its generating portfolio from away from majority hydrocarbons (coal and natural gas) in favor of industrial wind, solar, and battery storage.
Besides building out industrial wind and solar, the $2.5 billion CEP would retire prematurely 660 megawatts (enough to power roughly 660,000 homes) of relatively young, low-cost, highly-utilized, environmentally state-of-art coal-fueled power plants.