This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Xcel Explores Earlier Closure Of Coal-fired Unit


DENVER (AP) â¿¿ Xcel Energy Inc. is studying what it would take to speed up its timetable for retiring some coal-fired power plants to help Colorado meet federal clean air standards.

A new state law required the utility to file a plan it would implement by the end of 2017 to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.

Xcel's preference is to add emissions controls at some plants, retire some coal-fired generating units and switch others to run on natural gas by then, but it wouldn't shut down the coal-fired Cherokee 4 unit in Denver until 2022.

The Colorado Independent Energy Association has said Xcel's $1.3 billion plan is fatally flawed because it won't be fully implemented in time.

Xcel spokesman Mark Stutz said Wednesday that while the company still prefers to close Cherokee 4 in 2022, it is exploring the costs and feasibility of doing it by 2017. Xcel officials hope to have that review complete sometime next week.

Xcel has said its preferred plan would likely raise customers' electricity bills 1.5 percent, but retiring Cherokee 4 earlier would mean a bigger increase. The exact amount hasn't been determined.

The company has said the 2022 timeline also would allow for a smoother transition as it shuts down four coal-fired Cherokee units and replaces them with two units that run on natural gas.

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission has until Dec. 15 to decide whether Xcel's plan is acceptable. Ten days of evidentiary hearings are set to begin Thursday.

The PUC's staff has said Xcel's preferred proposal, with the 2022 closure of Cherokee 4, runs the risk of being appealed. Refusing to consider the plan, though, won't leave a lot of time to come up with a new one, the staff said.

At public meetings, miners and others tied to the coal industry have said Xcel's plan will cost them jobs while the natural gas industry and environmentalists touting the benefits of clean air have united behind the plan.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,888.35 +168.43 0.95%
S&P 500 2,102.63 +22.22 1.07%
NASDAQ 5,156.3060 +47.64 0.93%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs