Xcel Energy announces retirement of Hayden power plant

DENVER (January 4, 2021) In partnership with its co-owners, PacifiCorp and Salt River Project, Xcel Energy announced today it will close the Hayden Generating Station. The early closure of the coal plant is part of the company’s plan to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2030 and ultimately deliver 100% carbon-free electricity to customers by 2050. Xcel Energy and its partners have agreed on a proposed plan to retire Unit 2 by the end of 2027 and Unit 1 in 2028.

The plant employs about 75 people, and no layoffs are anticipated. Instead, Xcel Energy and its co-owners will manage the transition through attrition, retirement and retraining employees in partnership with IBEW Local 111, which represents the workforce.

“Hayden has been part of the Northwest Colorado community for 55 years. We are committed to supporting our employees and the region as we move forward with our clean energy transition in Colorado. We have a long track record of successfully transitioning coal plants we’ve retired,” said Alice Jackson, president of Xcel Energy—Colorado. “Our top priority is finding new roles for our workers and supporting the communities that have served us so well.”

“We are working closely with the company to ensure our union members have ample employment opportunities to minimize impacts to them, their families and the communities we serve,” said Rich Meisinger, Business Manager of IBEW Local 111. “Our focus is to keep our members working while ensuring Colorado continues to maintain a safe and reliable electric grid. IBEW Local 111 union workers have led in the construction, maintenance, powering and repowering of the electric grid in Colorado for generations. We’re very proud of the work they’ve accomplished and look forward to demonstrating what this valuable workforce can accomplish for Colorado’s energy future.”

Details on Hayden’s early closure will be included in Xcel Energy’s upcoming electric resource plan that will go before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission in March. The plan will also forecast customer electricity needs through 2030 with a focus on maintaining reliable, affordable and clean electric service. Among other things, the plan will likely propose to add more wind, solar and flexible, dispatchable resources.

“In Colorado, Xcel Energy has already made significant strides reducing carbon emissions 42% since 2005,” said Jackson, “and we look forward to proposing a new, comprehensive energy plan early this year that continues our clean energy transition and delivers at least an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. The retirement of Hayden is an important part of Xcel Energy’s vision for a carbon-free electric system by mid-century.”

Hayden’s Unit 1 and Unit 2’s original retirement dates were 2030 and 2036, respectively. Xcel Energy will work with the communities and stakeholders to explore new uses of the Hayden site that will promote clean energy innovation and economic opportunity in the Northwest Colorado region.

Xcel Energy is the majority owner and operator of the Hayden Generating Station, owning about 75% of 179-megawatt Unit 1 and 37.5% of 262-megawatt Unit 2. Salt River Project owns 50% of Unit 2 and Pacific Corp owns the balance of Unit 1 and Unit 2.

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