Demolition of Historic Colorado Coal Plant to Pave Way for New Gas Generation Facility
A process is now underway in Colorado Springs designed to see the eventual demolition of a long-standing coal-powered plant and subsequent building of a natural gas-fired replacement.
The nearly 100-year-old Martin Drake Power Plant, operated by the Colorado Springs Utilities company and the primary source of energy for the city, is expected to be officially retired by the end of 2022.
Just days ago the facility received its last coal train delivery.
Last summer the board of Colorado Springs Utilities voted in favor of closing down the facility, one of the last such coal plants in the country operating in a metro area.
In announcing that vote, Jill Gaebler, chairwoman of the board, said the decision was made “for the future of our utility and this city.”
According to reports, the end of Drake’s coal generation is expected to significantly bolster Colorado Springs Utilities’ goal of cutting carbon emissions by 80% by the end of the decade.
The demolition of the old plant is expected to begin this fall, with the company planning to spend upwards of $100 million building half a dozen new natural gas generators that will go up on the same site.
Colorado Springs Utilities’ modernization plans also include the construction of a roughly 6-mile transmission line from the site of the Drake plant to the Kelker substation, which itself will be undergoing a restructuring beginning next fall.
By Garry Boulard
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