Salt River Project (SRP) Wednesday released an updated timeline for reducing workforce at the coal-fired Coronado Generating Station (CGS) in St. Johns, over the next four years.
The reduction will accommodate ongoing operational curtailments of the plant’s two coal-fired units in preparation for the plant’s accelerated retirement no later than 2032, originally announced in January 2020.
The plan calls for a 40% reduction in staff by 2025 so that CGS can continue to operate economically on behalf of SRP’s more than 1 million customers.
The plant operated with 211 employees at the end of 2019, which will be reduced to 128 employees by the end of 2025. SRP expects that the majority of the reduction will be achieved through attrition and employee retirements.
To update employees about the 2025 staff reductions and SRP job redeployment opportunities, SRP Senior Director of Power Generation Kevin Nielsen and CGS Plant Director Craig Larson led internal town hall meetings at CGS on Feb. 9.
“Every CGS employee interested in continuing employment at other SRP facilities is encouraged to take advantage of opportunities available to them over the next four years,” Larson said. “SRP Human Resources is providing tools, resources and training to support employees in taking new career paths at SRP. Our employees will also be eligible for a relocation benefit if they accept a Valley-based SRP position.”
All CGS employees have begun meeting with their department leaders to devise individual move-forward strategies in their careers, and SRP leadership will continue to provide details to employees about available options and resources.
SRP previously reported an operational strategy for CGS in St. John’s to “split” current Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) between CGS units 1 and 2. This is to adequately process emissions until both units are retired. The operation of each generating unit would be curtailed annually until the CGS plant officially closes.
The eventual closure of CGS is part of SRP’s 2035 Sustainability Goals. These call for a reduction of CO2 emitted per megawatt-hour (MWH) by 65% by 2035 and 90% by 2050.
CGS operations help SRP reliably meet customer demand and load growth and will continue to do so while the company incorporates new renewable energy resources, such as solar energy and battery storage, to replace the power from CGS.