Xcel backing away from solar-thermal enabling San Luis Valley transmission

Xcel appears to be backing away from new transmission lines to the San Luis Valley.  This infrastructure is required to implement the several hundred megawatts of solar-thermal generation that they proposed in their 2007 resource plan.  Solar thermal is the only renewable power (other than pumped hydro, which has limited availability) for which energy storage is potentially feasible right now (e.g. using huge tanks of molten salt).  It’s interesting to contrast the utility’s statements on the San Luis Valley project with what they’re saying about the Pawnee retrofit, and what they said about the Comanche 3 plant.

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