Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, which provides power to Limon-based Mountain View Electric Association, plans to close its remaining coal-fired power plants and coal mine in Colorado and New Mexico.

Mountain View serves much of eastern El Paso County and parts of seven other Colorado counties.

The Westminster-based electricity wholesaler said Thursday in a news release that it will close the Escalante Station in northwest New Mexico by year's end and the Craig Station in Craig and the Colowyo Mine in northwest Colorado by 2030. Tri-State, which closed its Nucla power plant in September, had planned to close one of three units in Craig by 2025 vas part of its Responsible Energy Plan announced in July. Tri-State said it plans to announce more moves next week in connection with the plan.

"Serving our members' clean energy and affordability needs, supporting state requirements and goals, and leading the fundamental changes in our industry require the retirement of our coal facilities in Colorado and New Mexico," Tri-State Chairman Rick Gordon said in a news release. He also is a Mountain View board member.

The 253-megawatt Escalante Station was built and opened in 1984 by Plains Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperative, which later merged with Tri-State. The 1,285-megawatt Craig Station was built and opened between 1979 and 1984 by Colorado Ute Electric Association and was later acquired by Tri-State. The Colowyo Mine supplies coal to the Craig Station and opened in 1977; Tri-State bought the mine in 2011. The two plants and mine employ nearly 600 people.

Tri-State said it would provide $5 million to New Mexico officials to help with worker retraining and economic development and also will offer workers severance packages that include education and financial planning help and funding for health benefits.

Contact Wayne Heilman 636-0234



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