Goals set for future energy plan; public survey now open

Published: 10/17/2019  10:20 AM
​Work on our Electric and Natural Gas Integrated Resource Plans (IRPs) continues as planning goals were established thanks to public input. The Electric and Natural Gas IRPs will consider many views of the future to help determine how we will best ...

Make the most of your fallen leaves

Published: 10/10/2019  8:23 AM
Every year, I look forward to when the trees in my yard turn beautiful shades of yellow, orange and red. But I know what’s next--a thick layer of leaves on my lawn that must be dealt with. Not exactly my idea of a fun autumn afternoon. Luckily, a ...

It's Public Natural Gas Week - A reminder of how both employees and customers help keep our natural gas system safe

Published: 10/8/2019  4:53 PM
​This year, October 6-12 is Public Natural Gas Week, a time when communities such as ours give recognition to one of their most valuable community assets—their publicly owned natural gas utility. At Colorado Springs Utilities, our natural gas emplo ...

Customer Service Week - The Magic of Serving You

Published: 10/8/2019  4:22 PM
​October 7-11 is Customer Service Week, an international celebration of the importance of customer service and of the people who serve and support customers on a daily basis. In 1992, the U.S. Congress proclaimed Customer Service Week a nationally r ...

10 fall tips to use energy and water wisely

Published: 10/2/2019  3:41 PM
​October is Energy Action Month, a time to encourage the community to contribute to sustainability efforts by learning more about energy efficiency and practicing smarter energy use. As the cooler months approach, consider our low-cost or no-cost ti ...

​Public Power: Rich history and bright future

Published: 10/1/2019  4:24 PM
Our early citizens understood the value of public power ownership, voting in 1924 to create their own municipal utility. Today, public power is as relevant and valuable as it was nearly 100 years ago. Colorado Springs Utilities is one of nearly 2,0 ...

Colorado Springs Utilities' Office of Economic Development wins ​Downtown Partnership Star Award

Published: 9/30/2019  11:20 AM
The Downtown Partnership, a nonprofit organization, with a robust membership base of businesses, nonprofits and individuals representing the diversity of industries Downtown and citywide, honored three outstanding contributors to the economic, civic ...

More public electric vehicle chargers thanks to grant

Published: 9/24/2019  8:16 AM
We recently installed four Level II electric vehicle chargers at four of our facilities thanks to funding from a Charge Ahead Colorado grant. The chargers expands the community’s electric vehicle charging network for our customers and employees. Th ...

Construction of two new solar projects progresses

Published: 9/24/2019  8:14 AM
​By the end of this year, we will add enough solar energy to our system to power 35,000 homes annually thanks to two projects currently under construction. The Palmer Solar Project, located southeast of Colorado Springs, and the Grazing Yak Solar P ...

Four fall tips to brighten your landscape

Published: 9/9/2019  9:34 AM
​After Labor Day, many landscapes may look dull, especially if most of the flowering plants bloom in early summer. Fortunately, September is a wonderful month to add a few more plants to your landscape. The soil is warm and the air temperatures have ...

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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