Three reasons you need a rain sensor

Published: 8/7/2019  2:19 PM
​August weather can be unpredictable, alternating between 90-degree weather and monsoon thunderstorms. With the bustle of school starting and late summer routine changes, it’s a challenge to turn your sprinkler system off every time it rains-- not t ...

Smart technology powers the home of the future

Published: 7/30/2019  1:48 PM
We’re partnering with Classic Homes for the 2019 Colorado Springs Parade of Homes to showcase the parade’s smartest home yet, and to learn how smart technology will power the future.You can join us for a special 'Ask the Experts' tour with our energ ...

Innovative partnership protects 11,000 acres of critical watershed

Published: 7/23/2019  9:20 AM
​On July 23 we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to continue our partnership with the U.S. Forest Service Region 2 Office and the Colorado State Forest Service to fund critical forest management and wildfire risk mitigation projects in area ...

Water outlook after 6 months

Published: 7/18/2019  2:15 PM
I love summer. Call me crazy, but I love the hot, dry weather. If you’re like me, the weather in June frustrated you to no end! While the weather didn’t do my disposition any favors, it did do wonders for our water supply. June’s weather brought t ...

Top 10 tips to keep cool this summer

Published: 7/17/2019  1:36 PM
​As temperatures rise and we transition from the cooler months into summer, you can take some easy steps to keep an attractive landscape and a comfortable home while using energy and water wisely. These 10 tips will help you reduce overall electric ...

AMI vendor contract signed

Published: 7/16/2019  1:02 PM
After months of evaluating proposals and contract negotiations, we have signed a contract with Landis + Gyr to update our end-of-life Automated Meter Reading (AMR) system with an enhanced Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system. As part of th ...

Hundreds attend Efficiency Expo

Published: 7/9/2019  11:01 AM
​The fifth annual Efficiency Expo welcomed approximately 400 people to the Conservation and Environmental Center on Saturday, June 22. Visitors had a chance to meet with staff and participate at 25 stations to discover efficiency tips that can help ...

Five tips to reduce yardwork

Published: 7/3/2019  2:15 PM
​Are you dreaming about getting out of town for summer vacation, but don’t want to neglect your yard? You’re not alone. After putting major effort into spring landscaping, most people like to turn to other activities for the summer. Unless you have ...

New Energy Vision adopted

Published: 6/18/2019  12:37 PM
​Energy Vision:Provide resilient, reliable and cost-effective energy that is environmentally sustainable, reduces our carbon footprint and uses proven state-of-the-art technologies to enhance our quality of life for generations to come. This is our ...

Turning commodes into roads

Published: 6/17/2019  2:43 PM
Saving water and reusing materials for the benefit of all customers Colorado Springs Utilities employees are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to save our customers money. One of the most creative ideas I'd ever heard of came about in ...

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Front Range breaks records   

  by  Ellen T.  on  4/11/2019

Front Ranger Power PlantAs we integrate more solar energy into our grid in the coming years, some may ask, “How is power generated on cloudy days? Will the community lose power?”

To ensure power quality and reliability, our grid operators work tirelessly so that our power system works as a whole.

When power generation fluctuates from renewable sources, like solar, we are fortunate to have a resource we can depend on. It’s called the Front Range Power Plant.

​There are many reasons why this plant is an important asset for our customers now, and will becoming increasingly more important as we add renewable energy to our portfolio. Front Range Power Plant is:


Front Range can be ramped up to maximum output and then turned back off within a few hours. For example, if we have 100 megawatts of solar but clouds roll in causing us to quickly lose 50 of those megawatts, this plant can make that up in less than 5 minutes. This plant can react quickly whether we need more or less generation.


Because of automation and the combustion turbines at this plant, it also requires less staff to operate. Front Range only has about 20 employees. Gas flows through lines and valves directly into the jet-engine-like turbines, which can be ramped up or turned off quickly. Think of them like the engines you see on large planes. (See photos below).

Condensing of steam is managed by an air-cooled condenser that requires far less water consumption in comparison to a traditional wet cooling tower.

 2018 Energy Generation Mix

2018 was a record-breaking year for the plant. We generated over 2.5 million megawatt hours of energy throughout the year. On November 11, 2018 we broke the all-time record for generation in one day: 11,315 megawatt hours.



To the left, you can see our energy generation mix for 2018. Natural gas surpassed all other generation sources, thanks to this plant.





When we produce energy and customers don’t need it, we sell it on the market and make a profit, which in turn keeps rates lower for our customers. As gas prices continue to stay low, Front Range is one of our “cheapest” energy producers.

The cost to run this plant is very low when considering the price of natural gas and the megawatts of energy we produce with it – a lot for a little. It can generate more power than Nixon and Drake power plants and our hydro power plants combined.

Relying more on Front Range is beneficial to our customers in almost every way. It helps us meet many of our customers' diverse needs when it comes to flexibility, efficiency, reliability, cost and environmental stewardship. Book a tour if you are interested in visiting this plant.

Front Ranger Power PlantFront Range Power Plant


Add a comment


Who owns Front Range Power Plant?

Friday, July 12, 2019  7:49 AM  Norman Ivins

What was the cost of this plant? If we were not having all the renewals in our energy portfolio would we need this plant?What is the cost per kwh as compared to the coal fired plants? Is the cost of this plant figured in when you calculate the true cost of renewables?

Friday, July 12, 2019  5:31 PM  roger

Sounds much preferable to the coal plants. Sure hope we can wean ourselves off coal in a hurry, and eventually kick the gas too.

Friday, July 12, 2019  6:18 PM  RobLucey