Officials likely to shut down Rifle power plant

An 85-megawatt power plant in Rifle will likely be shut down in the fall, a Tri-State news release states.

The Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association is a wholesale power supply cooperative. On April 5, the entity made a filing with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission that, if approved, would result in the natural gas, combined-cycle power plant’s retirement.

“The decision to retire Rifle Station comes as we transition to cleaner resources and reduce our wholesale rates,” Tri-State CEO Duane Highley said in the release. “We appreciate our Rifle employees’ commitment and service through the years, and will be working with them to ease the impact of this transition.”

The Rifle plant, which currently has four employees, has run more infrequently in recent years. Tri-State currently has sufficient and lower-cost resources to serve its members’ power requirements, and significant near-term investments would be required to continue operating the facility, the release states.

The Rifle plant first came online in 1987, with Tri-State purchasing power from the plant in 1992.

With its pending closure, Tri-State’s board of directors approved a $50,000 donation to the Rifle Regional Economic Development Corporation to support local economic development.

“The Rifle Regional Economic Development Corporation is thrilled to receive this donation from Tri-State. The funds will be used to continue efforts with our regional partners to promote economic development activity in the Colorado River Valley,” RREDC Executive Director Tyler Kelly said in the release. “Our goal is to create an environment that attracts businesses and industries that provide meaningful, locally located, primary jobs.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.