Greenhouse gas reduction is not the only reason we should transition from fossil-fueled power plants. With almost 70% of our power reliant on water, availability of water is another reason.
Lack of water is accelerating the closure of Xcel’s 1.1 gigawatt Tolk power plant. The Texas-based plant will close by 2032, 10 years earlier than planned. The shutdown is largely due to its dependence on a rapidly depleting water source, the Ogallala Aquifer. The Aquifer has been depleted significantly over the last several decades, largely due to irrigation, as well as oil and gas activity and urban development. Due to this depletion, and the expectation that it will run out of groundwater rights to use Aquifer water, the decision was made to close the plant.