Coal Communities Transition (CCT)
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The electric power industry is undergoing a significant transition driven by changes in technology, economics and customer demands. Like the rest of the industry, SRP is taking action to significantly reduce its carbon footprint while maintaining the ability to provide our customers and communities with a reliable, sustainable and affordable supply of water and power. To enable this transition, SRP anticipates retiring its coal-fired power plants in the coming years. SRP’s plan includes the following:
- SRP will exit its ownership of coal plants in Colorado in the mid to late 2020s. The community transition will be led by the operators of those plants with input from SRP.
- The Four Corners Power Plant is scheduled to close no later than 2031. SRP will work with APS, the operator of that plant, and the other owners on the plant's transition plan.
- SRP has announced that the Coronado Generating Station (CGS) is scheduled to close no later than 2032 and will begin seasonal operations in 2025.
- SRP anticipates closing its share of Springerville Generating Station in the years following the closure of CGS.
- Throughout SRP’s transition away from coal, SRP is supporting those communities impacted by the plant closures. SRP is working with local stakeholders to help these communities as they work toward developing sustainable and strategic economies. This website provides additional details regarding the transition planning.
With the announced closures of Coronado Generating Station and units 1 and 2 at Springerville Generating Station, Apache County and its communities, including St. Johns, Springerville and Eagar, are beginning to prepare for the transition away from coal. The mission of the Coal Communities Transition effort is to support the communities impacted by Apache County coal plant closures as they develop sustainable and strategic economies.
Exploring future energy uses for the CGS site
For decades, St. Johns has been a coal power generation community. Since SRP’s January 2020 announcement that CGS will close no later than 2032, community members have asked if the CGS site could have a generating future after coal. The transition from traditional fossil fuels, like coal, requires studying clean and sustainable energy alternatives. As part of its business planning, SRP conducted a CGS Repurposing Study. The study included analyzing various energy generation technologies to determine which are compatible with the CGS site and SRP’s mission to sustainably provide cost-effective and reliable power. Results of the study are below.
CGS repurposing studies
Technology screenings are being conducted to identify low- to no-carbon generating resources for potential repurposing of the CGS site.
Kiewit was selected to conduct a study of low- to no-carbon generating resources that could be used to repurpose the CGS site. (Nuclear technologies were addressed in the GAIN Study.)Kiewit Study
GAIN Study (coming soon)
GAIN (Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear), a Department of Energy initiative, conducted a study assessing the feasibility of repurposing the CGS site with advanced nuclear technology.GAIN Study (coming soon)
"Estimating the impacts of reduced operations at, and the closures of, Springerville and Coronado Generating Stations"
By Dr. Anthony Evans, Staff Director and Senior Research Fellow at the Seidman Research Institute & Dr. Dennis Hoffman, Director of the L. William Seidman Research Institute at the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU.Download
“Benefits of Expanding Broadband Infrastructure in Apache County”
By Jim Rounds, President at Rounds Consulting Group, Inc.Download
Oct. 25, 2022: CGS community open house
With CGS set to close no later than 2032, the SRP Coal Communities Transition Team hosted an open house on Oct. 25, 2022, to discuss their efforts to help St. Johns and the surrounding communities develop sustainable and strategic economies. Attendees learned about current studies to determine the possibility of repurposing the site for other generation technologies. The transition team also discussed the Arizona Commerce Authority $9.7M broadband grant, which SRP and TEP helped Apache County receive. Economic development consultants were also on hand to provide information to CGS employees about workforce development and job training opportunities in the area.
Sept. 14, 2023: Kiewit Repurposing Study and GAIN Study presentation
The SRP Coal Communities Transition Team presented the results of the Kiewit CGS Repurposing Study and GAIN Study on Sept. 14, 2023.
Utility Grant Funding Program
Arizona Public Service, Salt River Project and Tucson Electric Power Utility Grant Funding Program
Representatives of communities impacted by the utilities' current or planned exit from coal-fired generating stations (impacted communities) have expressed the need for assistance with the application process for federal, state and other grant funding opportunities, such as hiring grant writers or commissioning economic impact studies. Often, the impacted communities do not apply for grants due to a lack of expertise in or expenses related to preparing grant applications. In response to this need, the utilities developed the Utility Grant Funding Program to provide funding assistance to impacted communities. The total amount of funding available for distribution is $1M. Funding may be distributed over a period of up to six (6) years as explained further at the link below. Funds will be awarded on a competitive basis to qualifying applicants seeking assistance in support of a qualifying grant application. Funding proposals will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. A list of eligible applicants and eligible activities are set forth on the application page.
Federal Interagency Working Group
The recently created Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization reviewed domestic and international models for economic revitalization, compiled recommendations from advocacy groups and academics, and sought guidance from representatives of energy communities. Stakeholders included labor unions, community development organizations, local, regional and tribal governments, the private sector, and philanthropic interests.
Federal assistance programs
The Interagency Working Group created the centralized clearinghouse that features billions of dollars in existing federal funding opportunities. This government-wide list identifies resources available to energy communities applying for funds for infrastructure, environmental remediation, job creation and community revitalization efforts.
CGS closure employment impact
Before the final closure of CGS, the workforce for both salaried full-time staff and hourly employees will be downsized. As the plant moves toward seasonal operations in 2025, the workforce will be reduced by 30%–40%. This reduction will be accomplished primarily through natural attrition, as employees retire or take positions elsewhere in the company.
Apache County Coal Communities Transition
Total funding secured to date: $12M
- The Arizona Commerce Authority awarded Apache County broadband carrier Commnet $9.7M for broadband network deployment.
- Broadband Carrier Commnet contributed $1.7M in broadband grant matching funds.
- TEP and SRP each contributed $300K in broadband grant matching funds.
- SRP contributed $50K in education grants to St. Johns and Round Valley high schools.
- SRP and TEP each contributed $15K for the town of Eagar’s new community park construction.