Tri-State News: Colorado Air Quality Control Commission’s preliminary final action requires early closure of Craig Station Unit 3

  • On Dec. 1, Tri-State will submit an electric resource plan to Colorado Public Utilities Commission that includes an 80% reduction in greenhouse emissions associated with Colorado wholesale sales by 2030.
  • AQCC preliminary final action that would force closure of facilities is unprecedented under state and federal regulations to protect visibility.

(November 20, 2020 – Westminster, Colo.) – Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association CEO Duane Highley commented on the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission’s (AQCC) preliminary final action to require the closure of Craig Station Unit 3 in northwest Colorado by the end of 2028. The AQCC rejected a proposal by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Air Pollution Control Division and several electric utilities, including Tri-State.

“Tri-State is reducing emissions, and our proposal supported visibility improvements in our national parks and wilderness areas while keeping power reliable and affordable,” said Duane Highley, CEO of Tri-State. “We responsibly set a voluntarily retirement date for Craig Station by the end of 2029, when we intend to have added 2,000 megawatts of renewable resources.” 

“It must be noted that Tri-State, the other utilities, and the state’s professional staff all testified that accelerated plant closures were unnecessary to achieve visibility goals, and exceed requirements to achieve reasonable progress toward achieving visibility improvements under the regulations,” Highley said. “The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission’s unprecedented preliminary final action to require the early closure of Craig Station rejected the recommendation of the state’s professional staff,” Highley said.

On Nov. 12, 2020. Tri-State and Gov. Polis announced the cooperative’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Colorado 80% by 2030 as part of the cooperative power supplier’s transformative Responsible Energy Plan and to support statewide emissions reductions requirements. Tri-State will file its Electric Resource Plan with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission on Dec. 1, 2020.

The AQCC’s preliminary final action also requires the early closure of Colorado Springs Utilities’ Ray D. Nixon Power Plant and Platte River Power Authority’s Rawhide Unit 1. 

Tri-State will review the AQCC’s preliminary final action made today, and the final decision, which will be considered in December.

About Tri-State

Tri-State is a not-for-profit cooperative of 45 members, including 42 utility electric distribution cooperative and public power district members in four states that together deliver reliable, affordable and responsible power to more than a million electricity consumers across nearly 200,000 square miles of the West. For more information about Tri-State, visit

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.