The Colorado Coal Plant Valuation Study provides new information on Colorado’s coal-fired power plants. The analysis includes the cost of replacing the 10 existing coal plants slated for retirement after 2025 with wind or solar resources. The analysis also examines the social cost of carbon of Colorado’s coal portfolio and the impact of using securitization, a financial tool to retire coal plants without burdening ratepayers, for retiring Xcel’s coal fleet, per provisions in SB19-236, the Sunset Public Utilities Commission Act.
Using publicly available data and applying conservative assumptions, Strategen found the following:
Wind resources are cheaper than coal for all 10 Colorado coal units analyzed, including the newest coal plants in the state, Xcel’s Comanche and Pawnee plants. Solar resources are cheaper than all of Colorado’s coal fleet except for Pawnee and Rawhide.
$1.7 billion is the potential savings if all 10 coal units are replaced with wind.
$1.4 billion is the potential savings if all 10 coal units are replaced with solar.