Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy Inc.‘s Colorado combination utility said Thursday that it has reached a settlement with WildEarth Guardians on a four-year-old lawsuit by the environmental group involving emissions at the Cherokee Generating Station north of Denver. Under the agreement, Xcel’s Public Service Company of Colorado will fund several environmental and community projects in the area impacted by the 611 MW coal-fired generation plant. The settlement will not be final until the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Justice Department have reviewed it and made comments, an Xcel spokesperson said. Since the 2009 lawsuit, Xcel has decided to convert the Cherokee plant by 2018 as part of the Colorado Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act, which has prompted more renewables, efficiency and natural gas-fired generation in the state. Cherokee will remain a “vital resource,” but as a natural gas-fired plant. The conversion process began last October, the spokesperson said.
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