The Hayden coal-fired power station between Craig and Steamboat Springs in northwest Colorado is currently operated by Xcel Energy. It originally went into service in 1965.

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

At a time when the federal government questions climate science and relaxes emissions standards, Colorado's largest utility company is going the opposite direction.

Xcel Energy vowed in early December to be carbon-free by 2050 — without raising customer's bills. Carbon-free doesn't mean 100 percent renewable energy. While the company will invest heavily in wind and solar, Xcel will also consider nuclear energy, battery storage and carbon-capture storage.

Alice Jackson, president of Xcel's Colorado operations, talked to Colorado Matters about what comes next.