Colorado Public Utilities Commission investigating Xcel’s Comanche projectPublished on: Friday, October 30, 2020
DEBORAH SWEARINGEN | email@example.com | Boulder Daily Camera
PUBLISHED: October 30, 2020
Colorado’s Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday launched an investigation into Xcel Energy’s Comanche 3 project in Pueblo.
Comanche 3, which Xcel calls the largest power plant in Colorado, has since its completion a decade ago continuously required repairs that left the coal-fired power plant out of service, according to documents from the PUC.
Xcel tried to put some of the cost on its customers, but the PUC earlier this year rejected the company’s request to have customers foot the $11.7 million in repairs, according to reporting from The Denver Post.
The commission’s investigation announcement, released Friday, notes it learned of a number of problems, including boiler tube leaks in 2009, reduced capacity at the plant due to planned outages to correct improperly welded components in the boiler and as a result of slagging due to a malfunctioning water cannon and the report of major damage resulting from the loss of lubrication oil for the steam turbine shaft.
In a document provided by the PUC, the commission wrote that based on those issues, it decided to “discuss further the merits of opening an investigation into the history and continuing operations of Comanche 3, particularly as Colorado utilities consider various measures for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.”
Gov. Jared Polis last year signed into law a new statute that requires carbon dioxide emissions associated with electricity sales to be reduced by 80% from 2005 levels by 2030. Reductions likely will be achieved by pushing up the retirement of existing facilities that generate such emissions, the PUC wrote.
Commission staff intends to provide a report of findings by March 1.