Craig unit to be retired in 2028

Unit 2 at Craig Station has five owners

by Allen Best

The second unit of the Craig Generation station will be retired on Sept. 30, 2028.

Tri-State Generation and Transmission, the operator and majority owner of the units,  announced today that after months of analysis and discussion, the five owners of the unit unanimously agreed on the retirement date for the 410-megawatt generating unit.

Craig Station is a 1,285-megawatt, three-unit generating facility located along the Yampa River in northwestern Colorado. Unit 1 will retire at the end of 2025, as had been previously announced, and Unit 3—the only unit owned entirely by Tri-State— will retire by 2030, as was announced in January.

Craig Station Units 1 and 2 make up the Yampa Project, owned by PacifiCorp, Platte River Power Authority, Salt River Project, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and Xcel Energy – Colorado.

The Yampa Project owners previously announced the retirement of the 427-megawatt Unit 1 by the end of 2025. The 448-megawatt Craig Station Unit 3, which is owned by Tri-State, will retire by 2030.

As the operator of Craig Station, Tri-State will work with local officials and the State of Colorado to develop a transition plan for those impacted by the retirement of the power plant, which currently employs 240.

“Even though the Unit 2 retirement date is only one year earlier than the full retirement date for Craig Station, the decision weighed heavily on us,” said Duane Highley, chief executive of Tri-State. “As we implement our Responsible Energy Plan, we remain focused on working with our partners in the plant, as well as local and state leaders, to support our employees and the community through this transition.”

In a release from Tri-State, both Jason Frisbie, chief executive of Platte River, and Alice Jackson, president of Xcel Energy – Colorado, complimented Tri-State’s leadership.

“Each of the five partners in the Yampa Project face different challenges associated with this resource and we greatly appreciate Tri- State’s leadership in the process to find the most optimal date for Unit 2’s retirement,” said Frisbie.

This is from the July 8, 2020, issue of Big Pivots.  Sign up here to get free copies.

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Allen Best