Craig Station

From Global Energy Monitor

Craig Station is a 1,427.6-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station operated by the Tri-State Generation and Transmission electric cooperative near Craig, Colorado.

Units 1 and 2 are also known as the Yampa project.[1]


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Plant Data

Retirement plans

In September 2016, it was reported Craig Station Unit 1, a 446 MW unit built in 1979, will be shut down by December 31, 2025.[10] Unit 2 (also 446 MW) is planned for retirement in 2026.[11]

During a media call on January 9, 2020 executives from Tri-State Generation and Transmission said that Units 2 and 3 will retire in 2030 and Unit 1 is still on schedule for retirement in 2025. Before the annoucement Units 2 and 3 were scheduled for closure in 2038 and 2044, respectively.[12][12]

In July 2020, S&P Global reported that Tri-State announced that unit 2 would close in September of 2028 instead of 2030.[8] In November 2020, the Air Quality Control Commission approved Colorado’s regional haze plan, requiring unit 3 to also close by 2028.[13]

However, in December 2020, the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission voted to reverse the plan. The about-face followed objections from utilities and the Colorado Energy Office, which was coordinating Gov. Jared Polis’ efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.[14]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 11,322,685 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 3,586 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 17,081 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 130 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Craig 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.[15] 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.[16]

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

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 24 $170,000,000
Heart attacks 36 $400,000,000
Asthma attacks 440 $23,000
Hospital admissions 16 $380,000
Chronic bronchitis 16 $6,900,000
Asthma ER visits 22 $8,000

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 "Craig units 1 & 2 (Yampa Project)," Platte River Power Authority, accessed June 2020
  2. "Pacificorp 10-k 2019" accessed June 17, 2020
  3. "Craig Generating Station", accessed June 17, 2020
  4. "Xcel 10-k filing 2019", accessed June 17, 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Tri-State Generation to close all 3 of its Colorado, New Mexico coal-fired power plants and coal mines by 2030" January 9, 2020
  6. "Craig Station owners, regulators and environmental groups reach agreement on proposed revisions to Colorado regional haze plan", accessed July 2020
  7. "EIA 923 February 2020" EIA 923 2020.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "In Colorado, retirement date set for coal-fired Craig Station unit" S&P, July 8, 2020
  9. "Colorado coal-fired station owners plan to close Unit 2 by 2028, complete retirement by 2030," Power Engineering, July 9, 2020
  10. "More than 500 megawatts of coal-based power to be shut down in Colorado," Denver Business Journal, Sep 1, 2016
  11. "PacifiCorp to add 7 GW renewables + storage, close 20 of 24 coal plants," Utility Dive, Oct 3, 2019
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Tri-State to retire mine, Escalante and Craig coal-fired power plants decades early" S&P, January 10, 2020
  13. "Regional Haze Plan Calls for Earlier Retirement for Colorado Coal-Fired Power Plants," Earthjustice, November 20, 2020
  14. "Colorado Air Regulators Scrap Plans To Accelerate Coal Power Plant Retirements," CPR News, December 18, 2020
  15. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  16. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010


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