The Martin Drake Power Plant is a 185 megawatt coal-fired plant that provides about a quarter of the community’s power year-round.
While the Martin Drake site has been in operation for more almost a century, the two current units - units 6 and 7 - were built in 1968 and 1974, respectively. The plant has been well maintained over the years to operate efficiently and reliably.
Our Utilities Board voted in 2015 to decommission the Drake Power Plant no later than 2035. This process started by retiring Unit 5, the smallest and oldest unit, at the end of 2016.
In 2017, the decommissioning date was revisited. An extensive study was completed to evaluate earlier closure options in addition to the location of replacement generation.
A number of scenarios for the site of the plant once it is deconstructed were presented to the Board. You can see those renderings here.
At the end of this process, the Utilities Board directed staff to accelerate essential transmission projects that will allow for various closure options while continuing to provide customers with safe and reliable power. Learn more about this decision here.
We are now planning and putting the infrastructure in place to efficiently and safely decommission and deconstruct the plant. This includes researching options to deliver power back to the Drake site.
These accelerated transmission projects must be completed prior to the decommissioning of the plant. In our estimates, the earliest these required transmission projects can be completed is the end of 2023.
Quarterly updates about this process are provided to the Utilities Board, the presentations can be found in the Related Links.
Replacement generation for this facility will be determined through our next Electric Integrated Resource Plan. To be finished by August 2020, this plan will lay the groundwork for a responsible and diversified energy mix for the next 20 years.