Drake Power Plant still slated to close by 2035, could happen sooner

Published: Dec. 18, 2017 at 7:54 AM MST
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UPDATE (12/18/17, 5:25 p.m.):

The Martin Drake Power Plant is still slated for closure by 2035, but the option to close it sooner is still on the table.

The Colorado Springs Board of Directors voted on Monday to approve scenario 3c when it comes to the future of the Drake Power Plant. In this scenario, there is "maximum flexibility on all scenarios and all closure dates between 2025 and 2035," according to documentation provided in the meeting agenda for the Drake and Birdsall sites.

The decision on Monday means customers will not see increased rates to shut the plant down sooner at this time.

ORIGINAL STORY (12/18/17 9 a.m.):

The Drake Power Plant is slated for closure in 2035, but could it happen sooner?

According to our news partners at The Gazette, Colorado Springs Utilities is looking into possibly closing it sooner.

The Gazette reports there are a few options on the table: building a natural gas plant at the same site, building outside of the city, buying electricity from other utilities, or a combination of those.

The main reason why people don't want the plant to close any earlier than scheduled is utility rates. There are fears that without the plant, rates would go up and become unaffordable.

"There are hundreds of thousands of people who are getting cheap power in a tome where many other people are paying an arm and a leg," said one woman at a utilities meeting earlier this month. "A lot of people getting that inexpensive power are people who can't afford anything else."

Others welcome the closure.

"It's going to help people's health that live near the plant; it's also going to help the economy of the downtown and help some revitalization of the area," said another woman at the same meeting.

Springs Utilities will vote Monday whether to close the plant a decade early. If it passed, what would it do to your utility bill?

The Springs Utilities board has not released any of those numbers ahead of Monday's vote.

The vote is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Plaza of the Rockies. The meeting is open to the public.