Letter: Xcel Energy should keep coal, natural gas power plants in opeartion

Dominion Energy, Virginia’s big electric utility, has told the state it does not foresee complying with the 2045 net zero power target in the Virginia Clean Economy Act. The preferred option in Dominion’s latest Integrated Resources Plan retires no fossil-fueled power generators, other than the few old ones that are already in the process of retirement. In fact, it adds a lot more fossil juice.

Dominion stated: “Due to an increasing load forecast, and the need for dispatchable generation, additional natural gas-fired resources are required and existing carbon-emitting units must be preserved beyond statutory retirement deadlines. The law (VCEA) explicitly authorizes the company to petition for relief on the basis that the unit retirements would threaten the reliability or security of electric service to customers.”

Dominion specifically proposes not to retire most of their fossil fleet, plus adding almost 3,000 megawatts of gas-fired generation over the next 15 years. Excel Energy should follow Dominion’s lead by petitioning to keep existing, reliable coal and natural gas fired generating plants operating until proven technology is available to provide dispatchable electrical energy to all its customers. 

Bill Rutledge
Steamboat Springs

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