Planning for Future Water Supply

Published: 9/21/2020  1:30 PM
We’ve come a long way since the 1800s when we were providing water to citizens through a series of ditches while planning to bring water to town from Pikes Peak. Today we have a complex water system, including 25 reservoirs and pipelines that stretc ...



Signed Agreement for One of the Largest Battery Storage Projects in State

Published: 9/16/2020  9:11 AM
​We have signed a power purchase agreement for a 175-megawatt (MW) solar project coupled with a 25 MW, four-hour battery energy storage system with Boulder-based juwi Inc.. The 25-MW battery storage system will be one of the largest in Colorado. “T ...



Fall watering for a healthy lawn and landscape

Published: 9/4/2020  12:18 PM
​It’s been hot and dry all summer. During extreme weather conditions, it’s especially important to care for your landscape as fall arrives. Investing in fall care tasks can help your lawn and landscape survive the winter, which protects your investm ...



Rafters, recreationalists and utilities rejoice over reconnected river section

Published: 9/4/2020  11:52 AM
We recently partnered with Aurora Water to reconnect a section of the Arkansas River, benefiting water customers, rafters and recreationalists. The Homestake Arkansas River Diversion project delivers Eagle River Basin water through Homestake, Turqu ...



When the leaves are falling, weatherization is calling

Published: 9/1/2020  1:12 PM
As September is upon us, those 90-degree days are a thing of the past (hopefully). Before the frigid temperatures kick-in, we want to suggest several ways to increase energy and water efficiency to keep families safe and comfortable while shrinking ...



Top 10 Reasons Customers Don't Contact 811 Before Digging

Published: 8/10/2020  2:57 PM
​In honor of National 811 Day (8/11), I want to remind everyone of the importance of calling 811 or visiting colorado811.org before starting any digging project. 811 is the national number designated by the Federal Communications Commission to preve ...



Successful 2020 bond issue

Published: 8/4/2020  3:16 PM
Recently, we successfully issued new money and refunding bonds, selling $251.7 million in Refunding (2020 A/2020B) bonds and $85.4 million in New Money Utilities Systems Improvement Revenue (2020C) bonds. “We are extremely pleased with the pricing ...



​Blue-green Algae found at Pikeview Reservoir

Published: 8/1/2020  11:07 AM
Pikeview Reservoir, a popular fishing lake in central Colorado Springs and part of our water system, recently tested positive for blue-green algae.  While the reservoir is still safe for fishing, humans and pets are prohibited from entering the wate ...



The best native plants for your landscape

Published: 7/30/2020  1:11 PM
If you’re looking for flowers and shrubs that can tolerate hot, dry conditions with grace, take a look at our foothills landscape in the Water-wise Neighborhood of our Demonstration Garden. This garden showcases native plants that thrive when temper ...



Colorado Springs now powered by wind

Published: 7/22/2020  9:39 AM
Only days after we announced our plan to reduce carbon emissions by 80% and close our coal power plants by 2030, we added wind power to our portfolio. For the next five years, Colorado Springs will receive 60 megawatts of renewable energy from two ...



 Next >>

Thank you: Your input helped shape our energy future   

  by  Aram Benyamin, CEO  on  6/30/2020

air force solarWe're committed to a new energy future that is cost-effective, resilient and environmentally sustainable.

Through our sustainable energy plan, we will:

  • Commit to our community with industry-leading reliability and resiliency and support the economic growth of the region.
  • Benefit our customers by maintaining competitive and affordable rates and advance energy efficiency.
  • Reduce carbon emissions at least 80% by 2030 and 90% by 2050.
  • Increase renewable energy and incorporate storage resources.
  • Decommission all coal generation by 2030 and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
  • Integrate new technologies responsibly by modernizing our grid and partner with customers to create distributed energy resources throughout the community.
Temporary natural gas generators will replace generation from our downtown coal power plant called Martin Drake by 2023. These units will ensure system reliability and will be relocated once new transmission projects are complete in the coming years.
 
Thank you to everyone who actively participated in this process and helped set the stage for a brighter, sustainable future for generations to come.
 
34  Comments
 

Add a comment

Name:
URL:
Comment*:



Did you guys share the results of the survey somewhere?

Wednesday, July 08, 2020  8:20 AM  DT

What will be the average cost and price impact on electricity when the coal fired power stations are shut down?
I trust the average annual increase in electricity will be less than the 2%.

Monday, July 13, 2020  4:14 PM  Rodney

It’s all good until the electric rates skyrocket. Please explain how the rates will work when the coal plants shutdown.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020  3:35 PM  Mike

Good start. I have breathing problems and the air quality in town can get pretty bad. Glad to see some of the cause to be ready for closure. I'll pay an extra few bucks a month for health and the planet.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020  4:00 PM  Brian

Thank you Aram Benyamin and all the employees of CSU for leading us to a future of clean energy for the health and well being of all of us in the community. We'll all appreciate less air pollution and less wasted water from burning antiquated coal. And thank you to the EDC, the Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Partnership, many more organizations and the thousands of citizens who all spoke up for this positive change. And thank you to the 7 members of the Utility Board who out voted the 2 old guard members of the of the board who will thankfully be gone after next April's election.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020  4:06 PM  Jacquie Ostrom

I am sorry, but this radical environmentalist miasma of rainbow butterflies, multichromatic glitter and unicorn flatulence doesn't quite dovetail with the reality, that it is impossible affordably to replace fossil fuels - especially cheap, plentiful coal - with "renewables" like wind and solar.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020  4:09 PM  Ares Koumis

Please explain what increases we’ll see from closing the drake plant. I’m not interested in paying a significant increase so we can go around espousing how virtuous we are for closing the cheapest energy source we have.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020  4:31 PM  Jerod

While I approve of using Natural Gas as a cheaper alternative to Coal, I haven't seen your analysis of the costs (production/carbon/acreage) of the renewables that you're planning to use -- or the costs of the availability of reliable backup generation units for when the Sun doesn't shine and the Wind doesn't blow. Please post a link.

Where are the survey results? I'm sorry to say that I missed the survey!

Tuesday, July 14, 2020  4:33 PM  Mark

While I approve of using Natural Gas as a cheaper alternative to Coal, I haven't seen your analysis of the costs (production/carbon/acreage) of the renewables that you're planning to use -- or the costs of the availability of reliable backup generation units for when the Sun doesn't shine and the Wind doesn't blow. Please post a link.

Where are the survey results? I'm sorry to say that I missed the survey!

Tuesday, July 14, 2020  4:34 PM  Mark

I agree with the skeptics that this new plan is not going to work out well for ratepayers. First of all the amount of renewable energy needed to replace our present power plants is going to be very hard to achieve. Secondly, from all I have read, the places with the most renewable energy have the highest electric rates. I believe any change of this magnitude should be put to the ratepayers for a vote. We cannot let a small group of activists determine our future.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020  4:35 PM  Robert Dorry

This is fantastic and an important step to creating a better future and environment for Colorado. By investing in means to ensure a sustainable future and reducing human impacts we will reduce the violate fragility that our energy sector faces from a variety of factors and provide a safe, healthy future for all of us here in CSU's service area.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020  4:58 PM  Arthur Simental

I hope you are correct in the outcome.
Also, I must have missed survey.
Storage of energy is a must. That is why I'm invested in rare earth materials to produce storage.
How many tons of concrete, steel, none recyclable plastics and other metals are used in each wind turbine? Let your customers know in one of the up coming newsletters this information.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020  5:27 PM  Jim Fuxa

Slow down. You're moving way to fast on solar and wind power. When batteries for electric cars wear out how are you going to dispose of hundreds of millions of them when they have to be replaced? What about the millions of solar panels? How many billions of birds and animals will be killed by wind turbines and loss of habitat to solar panels? How much land will be sacrificed to the ugliness of solar panels and turbines? Natural gas is safe, plentiful and almost totally clean without any of the mess and damage to nature. You also don't have to hope the wind blows or the sun shines. Natural gas is inexpensive and I have yet to see any proof that turbines and panels will do anything other than greatly raise our costs and reduce our reliability of services. This whole thing is a major scam on Americans and the world. Slow the pace and do it right.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020  5:30 PM  James Pinkston

It would be nice to see the survey results.

For those that are worried about price increases, CSU mentioned that spot electricity has been cheaper than operating the coal plant for some time. Not to say that price won't go up, but coal is the most expensive source of electricity right now.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020  6:21 PM  Joel

Thank you CSU for helping to lead CO and Colorado Springs into the 21st century. Cleaner air is good for ALL of us, the planet, and future generations. The majority of Colorado's people support your decision to move forward.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020  7:29 PM  Grant Miller

Has any ratepayer / taxpayer seen the cost benefit analysis that provided objective evidence that the solar panels will be less expensive than our coal burning Drake power plant? I'm all for natural gas. Natural gas is so cheep that we cannot give it away. How many thousands of acres does the city plan on purchasing to have this solar farm? So if the electrical rates skyrocket, do the citizens take the overage out of the city employees salaries? This is all pie in the sky. I would not recommend moving forward in shutting down Drake before the citizens have had a chance to review and study the analysis that states the solar panels will be less expensive over the long haul.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020  8:16 PM  Joe P

As soon as I read the headline - Your input helped shape our energy future - my first thought was don't blame this decision to shut down 2 perfectly working power plants on me. I filled out your survey but the answer choices were obviously swayed towards your agenda. The last few weeks have been unseasonably hot and I know the current demand has to be more than "the new energy future" will be able to meet. I believe you will see many people having "a new energy plan" of leaving Colorado when our rates double.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020  8:34 PM  Melissa

At what increase in energy prices?

Tuesday, July 14, 2020  9:20 PM 

California has been working towards this and now their electric bills are up around 60%. What do you say about this because that's crazy high!!! Our incomes aren't rising anywhere near that amount!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2020  9:56 PM  Greg

According to the post https://www.csu.org/Blog/archive/2020/04/24/work-progresses-on-long-term-energy-plans-selection-to-occur-this-summer.aspx , the survey was open for at least a week.

Their decision process started with weights to particular concepts:
Reliability 32%
Cost / Implementation 22%
Environment / Stewardship 22%
Flexibility / Diversity 14%
Innovation 10%

Mixed that with the survey and came out with a vacuous plan full of contradictory platitudes (see the bullet points above).

There are no storage resources that aren't going to be dependent on "new technologies" or undesirable (more dams for pumped hydro?).

Wind power construction is fossil-fuel intensive, ugly, kills raptors/birds/bats, and is NOT recyclable.

Solar power is full of hazardous metals, degrades steadily, not very effective at our latitude.

Both solar and wind are: energy sparse (lots of land for little energy), NOT recyclable, short-lived.

Both require standby fossil-fuel backup power generation.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020  10:50 PM  Mark

I greatly appreciate the efforts to reduce carbon emissions and shut down dirty coal power stations. The health benefits alone make this worthwhile, but the longer term contributions to help address the critically important climate change problem is also valuable. I look forward to the replacement of gas generators with renewable energy sources.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020  7:29 AM  Angelo Tomedi

Huge mistake! Caving in to the so-called "environmental movement," which is a classic oxymoron. The movement is in the wrong direction and wreaks unfathomable harm upon the environment! Just look at your photo: acres and acres of solar panels! Did you even consider the cost to the environment in the production and installation of those materials? The mining of the ores for the metals; the production of the plastics; the impact of the transportation; the loss of open-space; the visual impact? Plus, one good blizzard and your system is rendered useless as occurred in Wisconsin this past winter! Then there is the love affair with wind generation. Same thing: costly to the environment to produce and install; costs NEVER reclaimed by electric generation during the functional life of the generator; can't be operated in sub-freezing temperatures! On and on! Have you even considered nuclear? Show some backbone and stand up to the ignorant madness before we "pave paradise and put up a solar array!"

Wednesday, July 15, 2020  7:59 AM  Vic Ecklund

I am not aware of any community that embraced clean air initiatives in order to decrease dependence on coal realizing anything but increased utility costs, unreliable energy availability for purchase at reasonable rates and practically negligible impact on the environment. The citizens of Colorado Springs deserve a thorough cost benefit analysis of this decision to hastily turn away from clean coal as an energy source. No alternative energy source comes free and clear of negative environmental Impacts.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020  11:39 AM  John

The Colorado Springs Utilities sustainable energy plan makes a lot of sense. In the short term, natural gas will serve its function as a transitional energy source to ease us away from coal to less-polluting, renewable sources of energy. Reducing carbon emissions is key to healthy air and a high quality of life.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020  12:48 PM  Louise

Bob Dylan says it best--"The Times They Are A-Changin". Kudos to UPAC for its thorough integrated resource plan development and CSU for its selection of the portfolio favoring wind-solar-energy storage. I've been involved in energy technology for nearly 40 years and renewables coupled with batteries are delivering today on our nation's energy future. To provide some perspective, CSU plans to deploy 1,100 MW of wind-solar-energy storage over the next three decades. For comparison, the US deployed 6,400 MW in just the first three months of this year bringing the total installed base to 200,000 MW with new installations in the pipeline totaling another 200,000 MW! Clearly, well informed energy professionals believe the technology is ready for prime time. CSU is joining a national and global trend to deliver cleaner energy with nominal increases in cost and what many believe will be even higher reliability.
I close by pointing fellow bloggers to a recent report by UC Berkeley entitled "The Plummeting Solar, Wind, and Battery Costs Can Accelerate our Clean Energy Future" for details supporting CSU's selection. Well done and thank you to CSU and UPAC!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020  5:07 PM  Dr. Ross Dueber

What’s the operating cost of wind generators? How do you dispose of the wind generator blades when they become unserviceable? How many wind generators and solar panels dose it take to replace two coal plants? What’s the service life? If they are so great let’s place wind generators along Powers Boulevard or along I25 so everyone can see where the power comes from. Why do we hide them out East? How many more panels and generators will it take when Colorado Springs grows? We spent a lot on Drake since the fire for repairs and upgrades to make it burn cleaner just to turn it off and make it another park or some other downtown venue. Let’s let the people decide when we have true facts and place it on the ballot.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020  8:38 PM  Richard

I'm happy to hear that we are moving forward with the inevitable evolution of energy generation. We can't pretend like our choices don't impact our children's future and selfishly demand cheap energy now at the cost of the world we all live in. Renewal energy's time has come and it's past time to stop polluting our environment and pay the real cost of the energy we use.

Obviously there is a cost of transformation, it is a long term investment but it's time to move on.

I do believe that modern nuclear Traveling Wave Reactors should be something we look at for our future to help supply safe, reliable and clean power generation.

Thank you for your hard work to figure this out as best we can.

Thursday, July 16, 2020  7:31 AM  Sean

I am not sure how our "community" participated in some of these unattainable "ideas". By closing our electrical plants we move towards relying on other electrical generation plants outside of our community. How in the heck does this save us money? There is no way we generate enough wind or solar electricity to replace our generation plants. Also, I do not remember seeing any forum asking for community participation, ideas or voting. There is no such thing as zero carbon footprint. None.

Thursday, July 16, 2020  3:42 PM  Tony Phelps

What’s the operating cost of wind generators? How do you dispose of the wind generator blades when they become unserviceable? How many wind generators and solar panels dose it take to replace two coal plants? What’s the service life? If they are so great let’s place wind generators along Powers Boulevard or along I25 so everyone can see where the power comes from. Why do we hide them out East? How many more panels and generators will it take when Colorado Springs grows? We spent a lot on Drake since the fire for repairs and upgrades to make it burn cleaner just to turn it off and make it another park or some other downtown venue. Let’s let the people decide when we have true facts and place it on the ballot.

Thursday, July 16, 2020  6:59 PM  Richard

What is the closure and reclamation cost for Drake? Was it taken into account in the analysis?
If you have driven out towards Hanover recently, welcome to the renewable reality, square miles of ugly solar panels. If you go further east, windmills.

Friday, July 17, 2020  12:03 PM  Jim K

Thank you for taking an important step to make Colorado Springs a healthier and more sustainable place to live for our children and grandchildren.

Monday, July 20, 2020  8:34 PM  Daniel

What’s the operating cost of wind generators? How do you dispose of the wind generator blades when they become unserviceable? How many wind generators and solar panels dose it take to replace two coal plants? What’s the service life? If they are so great let’s place wind generators along Powers Boulevard or along I25 so everyone can see where the power comes from. Why do we hide them out East? How many more panels and generators will it take when Colorado Springs grows? We spent a lot on Drake since the fire for repairs and upgrades to make it burn cleaner just to turn it off and make it another park or some other downtown venue. Let’s let the people decide when we have true facts and place it on the ballot.

Thursday, July 23, 2020  5:16 PM  Richard

Wasn't our coal burning plant clean? Didn't we pay many millions of $$$ for the extra filters to control the exhaust? I believe that sun and wind cannot fulfill the need of this area and it's the biggest mistake yet. Better get a generator or we'll be without electricity!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020  7:39 AM  Petra

Liked Brian's comment: "Thank you Aram Benyamin and all the employees of CSU for leading us to a future of clean energy for the health and well being of all of us in the community. We'll all appreciate less air pollution and less wasted water from burning antiquated coal. And thank you to the EDC, the Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Partnership, many more organizations and the thousands of citizens who all spoke up for this positive change."

Friday, September 18, 2020  9:27 AM  Steve