By Judith Kohler The Denver Post, 6-18-2020
The Platte River Power Authority said Tuesday that it will retire a coal-fired power plant by 2030, 16 years earlier than planned.
The closure of the Rawhide Unit 1 northwest of Wellington and the end of Platte River’s ownership interest when a power plant in Craig shuts down will eliminate coal from the utility’s fuel mix by 2030.
The Rawhide coal plant started operating in 1984. About 100 people work at the plant, which can produce 280 megawatts of electricity.
Platte River Power, based in Fort Collins, has set a goal of having no carbon sources in its fuel mix by 2030. The community-owned utility said more than 50% of its energy will come from non-carbon resources by the end of this year and include wind and solar energy and hydropower.
The utility serves Fort Collins, Estes Park, Longmont and Loveland. It’s developing a comprehensive resource management plan.
The Rawhide plant has served the communities well, but it’s time to move toward a cleaner energy future while providing reliable and financially and environmentally sustainable service, Wade Troxell, Platte River board chairman and Fort Collins mayor, said in a statement.
Platte River’s decision to close the Rawhide coal plant will help Colorado reach its goals to increase renewable energy and reduce climate-changing emissions, said Will Toor, executive director of the Colorado Energy Office.
In addition to Rawhide Unit 1, the 4,560-acre Rawhide Energy Station is the site of five natural gas combustion turbines and a 30 megwatt solar farm. A 22 megawatt solar installation and battery storage are under construction.
Energy from the 225 megawatt Roundhouse wind farm in southern Wyoming will be transmitted to the Rawhide station and to the communities.