September 18, 2020 Read More →

Colorado utility selects solar plus storage project to replace Drake coal-fired power plant

KOAA News:

Colorado Springs Utilities customers will soon receive more of their electricity from the sun. The city-owned utility announced plans Wednesday for a 175-megawatt (MW) solar farm to be coupled with a 25 MW battery storage system, all built and installed by Boulder-based juwi Inc.

“We are going to integrate the solar energy into the rest of our grid, and it can effectively provide energy for 55,000 homes in Colorado Springs,” said City Councilwoman Jill Gaebler, chair of the Colorado Springs Utilities Board of Directors.

Coupling the solar array to a battery storage system adds resilience. Mark Marion, VP of Operations for juwi Inc. explained that system can still provide electricity overnight and on cloudy days. “The battery component gives some flexibility to Colorado Springs Utilities and how they manage their system,” explained Marion.

The additional power will broaden the community’s renewable energy production to roughly 27% of Colorado Springs Utilities’ energy portfolio. It will also help to meet the new state-mandated 80% carbon reduction by the year 2030.

In late June, the CSU Board passed an updated Integrated Energy Resource Plan that will speed up the decommissioning of the coal-fired Martin Drake power plant in downtown.

“Because of that goal, we will be closing Drake Power Plant probably no later than 2023, and likely to be closed even sooner,” Gaebler said. “Coal is no longer cheap energy and so closing down that plant just makes financial sense for our ratepayers,” Gaebler added.

[Andy Koen]

More: New solar energy and battery facility coming to Colorado Springs Utilities

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