Aug 8, 2022 - News

Denver looks at turning former Xcel power plant into community hub

Xcel Energy's Zuni generating station. Photo: John Frank/Axios
Xcel Energy's defunct Zuni generating station. Photo: John Frank/Axios

One of Denver's prominent eyesores is getting a second look as a possible community hub.

What's happening: The Sun Valley neighborhood wants the city to transform Xcel Energy's defunct Zuni generating station between Interstate 25 and the Platte River into a food hall and public market.

Why it matters: The century-old power plant, defunct for six years, is one of the most prominent structures in the city, with its towers as noticeable from far away.

  • Denver council members and Historic Denver want Xcel Energy to reconsider its plans to demolish the plant, calling it "an environmental justice issue and opportunity to create long overdue community benefits," Denverite reports.

The big picture: Denver is one of many cities seeking to reimagine its legacy energy infrastructure to revitalize neighborhoods that took the brunt of negative environmental impacts.

The backstory: Xcel Energy halted its $22 million plan to demolish the plant and potentially use the site for a new substation in December, after neighboring residents spoke out.

  • The utility is looking to build such substations to help handle the city's growth, but it's open to discussion about selling the property if Denver takes over its remediation.

What they're saying: So far, discussions are tentative. But Mayor Michael Hancock's administration has expressed interest. "The city believes the Zuni plant … could be a good candidate for adaptive reuse in the future," city spokesperson Laura Swartz told The Denver Post.

avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Denver.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Denver stories

No stories could be found

Denverpostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Denver.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more