State regulators on Tuesday approved an Xcel Energy plan to triple large-scale solar energy resources, add a flexible gas power plant and retire a coal burning plant, all of which drew a cheer from an environmental group.
The company will add 170 megawatts of solar to the 80 megawatts already on line.
“That is a relatively large amount of solar,” said Gwen Farnsworth, senior energy policy advisor for Western Resource Advocates, which advocates for the environment in the intermountain west.
The company will also retire its coal-fired Arapaho plant in Denver.
The details are part of a electric resource plan the utility is required to submit to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission every four years.
The plan addresses expected power demand through 2018, PUC spokesman Terry Bote said.
The plan also includes new wind power the commission approved in October.
“This is the first time we are seeing wind and solar as part of the lowest-cost plan,” Farnsworth said. “This is a good result, and we are glad to see the commission approval of additional wind and solar resources and the addition of flexible gas which can start quickly and increase or decrease operation quickly.”
Tom McGhee: 303-954-1671, email@example.com or twitter.com/dpmcghee