Many might not know, but when the Martin Drake Power Plant was constructed in 1925, it was on the outskirts of town. Almost a century later, the power generated at the plant, which is now located downtown, has helped grow this once small town into a city of almost half a million people.
Today, the plant continues to generate power with Units 6 and 7, which were built in 1968 and 1974 respectively, as we have decommissioned Units 1 through 5. It is scheduled to be completely closed no later than 2035.
The reliability of this plant has served the Pike Peak Region well, but as we set the stage for its closure, we must first determine how we can repower our city with new transmission and generation.
To help us determine the most reliable, cost effective, and flexible transmission plan that will facilitate for the plant’s closure, we have onboarded a transmission planning consultant called Burns and McDonnell. Working closely together over the next nine months, the teams will identify and evaluate various options and determine a solution that will provide us the ability to best meet our electric demands in the future.
Although power will no longer be generated at the Drake Power Plant site once it closes, this solution will make certain replacement power is delivered to the heart of our electric grid for ensured reliability and safety. These are just the characteristics our customers have come to enjoy and expect about living in Colorado Springs and we want to continue delivering on those promises.
We look forward to announcing in early 2019 a transmission solution that will provide for great flexibility in the decommissioning date of the plant while delivering a continuous, reliable flow of electricity from replacement generation to our customers.