Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, increasingly under pressure from its members and renewable energy advocates for its reliance on coal, plans to close two of its coal-fired power plants and a coal mine in Colorado and New Mexico.
Tri-State said Thursday it will close the Escalante Station in northwest New Mexico by the end of this year. It intends to close its operations at the Craig Station plant in Craig and at the Colowyo Mine in northwest Colorado by 2030.
The earlier-than-planned closures are part of the utility’s larger Responsible Energy Plan, Tri-State CEO Duane Highley said during a call with reporters. He said Tri-State will release details Jan. 15 about adding more renewable energy to its system and meeting state goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Last year, the Westminster-based wholesale power provider shut down its Nucla coal plant in western Colorado, ahead of plans to close it in 2022. It previously had said it will close one unit of the Craig plant by the end of 2025.
Thursday’s announcement applies to the remaining two units at the Craig facilities owned by Tri-State, a not-for-profit cooperative that serves a total of 43 electric associations in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Nebraska.
The original closing dates for the plants were: Craig Unit 2, 2038; Craig Unit 3, 2044; and Escalante, 2045.