Arapahoe Station

From Global Energy Monitor
Part of the
Global Gas Plant Tracker,
a Global Energy Monitor project.
Report an error
Related categories:

Arapahoe Station, also known as Arapahoe Combustion Turbine Project, is a 194-megawatt (MW) gas-fired power station in Denver, Colorado.

Loading map...


In August 2008, Colorado regulators approved Xcel’s plan to shut down two coal plants: the Arapahoe Station and the Cameo Station (east of Grand Junction). According to Western Resource Advocates, "The utility’s decision to shut down the plants has been praised as the nation’s first voluntary effort to cut coal power generation in an attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In its decision to support Xcel’s plan, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) cited public health benefits and shared concerns about carbon emissions as major selling-points in the company’s groundbreaking proposal. The verdict marks a collective effort to move the state and its utilities toward the carbon reduction goals outlined in Governor Bill Ritter’s Climate Action Plan."[1]

Xcel planned to replace the combined 229 MW of coal power with 850 MW of wind power and a 200 MW utility-scale solar power plant with storage capacity by 2015. Another key component of Xcel’s proposal, to build a 480 MW natural gas plant at the Arapahoe station, has been postponed pending approval by the Colorado PUC.[1]

The last two coal-fired units of Arapahoe were retired in 2013. Two older 44MW units at the plant, built in the early 1950s, were retired in 2002.[2]

A gas-fired combined cycle unit, 194 MW, was fully operational in 2002.[3]

Project details

  • Owner: Public Service Company of Colorado
  • Parent Company: Xcel Energy
  • Location: 2601 S. Platte River Dr., Denver, CO 80223
  • Coordinates: 39.670109, -105.003319
  • Gross generating capacity (retired):
    • Unit 1: coal, 40 MW (start-up in 1951, retired in 2013)
    • Unit 2: coal, 112 MW (start-up in 1978, retired in 2013)
  • Gross generating capacity (operating): 194 MW
    • Unit A567: natural gas[3] combined cycle[3] 194 MW[3] (start-up in 2002)[3]
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 1,368,739 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions:
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions:
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions:

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Arapahoe Station

In 2010, Abt Associates issued a study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, quantifying the deaths and other health effects attributable to fine particle pollution from coal-fired power plants.[4] Fine particle pollution consists of a complex mixture of soot, heavy metals, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. Among these particles, the most dangerous are those less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which are so tiny that they can evade the lung's natural defenses, enter the bloodstream, and be transported to vital organs. Impacts are especially severe among the elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease. The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, and pneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal plant emissions. These deaths and illnesses are major examples of coal's external costs, i.e. uncompensated harms inflicted upon the public at large. Low-income and minority populations are disproportionately impacted as well, due to the tendency of companies to avoid locating power plants upwind of affluent communities. To monetize the health impact of fine particle pollution from each coal plant, Abt assigned a value of $7,300,000 to each 2010 mortality, based on a range of government and private studies. Valuations of illnesses ranged from $52 for an asthma episode to $440,000 for a case of chronic bronchitis.[5]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Arapahoe Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 4 $27,000,000
Heart attacks 6 $610,000
Asthma attacks 71 $4,000
Hospital admissions 3 $59,000
Chronic bronchitis 3 $1,100,000
Asthma ER visits 3 $1,000

Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed February 2011

Citizen groups

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Clean Energy Accomplishments," Western Resrouce Advocates, accessed April 2009
  2. Form EIA-860 Data - Schedule 3, 'Generator Data' US EIA, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory (based on Form EIA-860M as a supplement to Form EIA-860) - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)". Retrieved 2022-12-14.
  4. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  5. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010

Related articles

External Articles

This article is a stub. You can help by expanding it.