CASPER – A utility cooperative operating across four Western states has announced a potential plan to stop taking power from a coal plant in Wyoming after 2033.
That’s according to a recent energy resource plan Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association submitted to Colorado regulators earlier this month.
On Dec. 1, Tri-State submitted an electric resource plan with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.
In the document, it outlined a “preferred plan,” which would include retiring unit 3 at the Laramie River Station, located just east of Wheatland.
“Modeling performed under the preferred plan showed that the continued operation of both Unit 2 and Unit 3 at levels needed to satisfy and maintain an 80% CO2 reduction in Colorado would not be economic, which is why the preferred plan reflects a retirement of (Laramie River Station) Unit 3,” the resource plan stated.
That said, Tri-State stressed that no formal agreement outlining the terms of a retirement has been established with the other owners of the power plant.
Tri-State holds a 27% interest in the facility and collects energy from units 2 and 3. The move to divest from Wyoming coal would be part of its effort to reduce carbon emissions by 80% (from 2005 levels) before 2030.
Analysis and modeling by the utility found that continuing to supply electricity to consumers using coal burned at the Laramie River Station would no longer be economical for ratepayers.
It would also hinder the company from reaching its sustainability goals. Public pressure nationwide for utilities to dramatically cut back on greenhouse gas emissions has only intensified in recent years too.