Kudos for Nick Bowlin’s article “Western voters care more about climate than ‘energy dominance’” (Feb. 10), describing an annual survey showing a “leap in support” of policies to address climate change.
Not only are voters increasingly aware that the era of fossil fuel use must end, so are energy executives across the country – for purely economic reasons. Pacificorp, the largest operator of coal-fired power plants in the western U.S., revealed that 60 percent of its power plants were more expensive to operate than renewable energy options, including the Craig coal plant. Craig happens to be primarily owned by the La Plata Electric Association’s provider, Tri-State, and its “most significant coal-fired power plant investment,” according to an article by Jeremy Nichols.
Market giant Xcel Energy recently revealed plans to dramatically shift toward renewable energy by closing one-third of its coal generation capacity while installing 1800 megawatts of renewables. “We have plans in Colorado... that will have us at a 60 percent carbon reduction and 55 percent renewable energy by 2026... at no incremental cost,” said Ben Fowke, president, chairman and CEO of Xcel.
To save more than $4 billion with cheaper renewable resources, storage and demand management, a utility in northern Indiana plans to transition from using 65 percent coal generation to 15 percent by 2023, and none by 2028.
Learn more Sat., March 23 at 3:15 p.m. at “Energy 101” at the Durango Library.