Escalante Station near Prewitt, N.M., goes offline for the last time
- New Mexico 253-megawatt facility will begin transition efforts toward decommissioning.
- Work ongoing to support McKinley Paper Company's continuing operations.
- Power supplier commits $5 million in community support for plant closure transition
(August 31, 2020 – Westminster, Colo.) – The Escalante Station, a 253-megawatt, coal-fired power plant near Prewitt, N.M., operated by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, came offline for the last time at 9:45 a.m. today, as the facility exhausted its remaining on-site fuel supply.
The power plant was constructed by Plains Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperative, and began operations in 1984. Plains Electric merged with Tri-State in 2000. Tri-State announced the closure of the facility, as part of its Responsible Energy Plan, in January 2020. The plant's final 76-day run began on June 16, 2020.
"Our Escalante Station employees have worked safely and tirelessly to serve our cooperative's members demand for power this summer, and for the past 36 years," said Duane Highley, CEO for Tri-State. "We are grateful for their service and all they have done to produce reliable power."
At the time of the closure announcement, there were 107 employees at the facility; about 35 employees remain today and several will continue on through the transition to decommissioning of the facility. Escalante Station employees have received severance packages, the opportunity to apply for vacancies at other Tri-State facilities, assistance with education and financial planning, and supplemental funding for health benefits.
Highley noted that in addition to the transition efforts for its employees, Tri-State remains committed to helping the local community and the cooperative's customers in Cibola and McKinley counties. Tri-State is providing $5 million in community support during the transition, and is working with McKinley Paper Company, which purchases steam and water from Escalante Station, to help continue its operations.
Tri-State also has entered into a power purchase agreement that will result in a 200-megawatt solar plant constructed near the plant site in 2023.
Tri-State is a not-for-profit cooperative of 45 members, including 42 utility electric distribution cooperatives and public power districts 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 and our Responsible Energy Plan, visit www.tristate.coop.
Mark Stutz, 303-254-3183, email@example.com
Certain information contained in this press statement are forward-looking statements including statements concerning Tri-State’s plans, future events, and other information that is not historical information. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those described from time to time in Tri-State’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Tri-State’s expectations and beliefs are expressed in good faith, and Tri-State believes there is a reasonable basis for them. However, Tri-State cannot assure you that management’s expectations and beliefs will be achieved. There are a number of risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained herein.