December 19, 2018 Read More →

Colorado Springs planning to close downtown coal-fired Drake plant

Pueblo Chieftain:

Colorado Springs Utilities is joining the energy movement away from old, coal-fired technology.

The city-owned utility is planning to shut down one of the two remaining turbines at its [208 megawatt] Martin Drake Power Plant, located in that city’s Downtown.

Some members of the Colorado Springs utility board expect that to happen as soon as next year. The final turbine is expected to be shut down in 2024.

A spokesman said the city’s decision earlier this year to move toward more renewable energy and battery storage systems is accelerating the schedule for decommissioning the old power plant. “As long as the economics make sense, the utility intends to replace the older power with renewables,” a spokesman said Monday.

The Martin Drake plant was scheduled for shutdown in 2035, but changes in the energy industry toward renewable power have sped up the planning process.

According to news reports, the utility is planning to add two new solar-power projects, plus battery storage, to its power network. It also operates the R.W. Nixon Power Plant south of the city.

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