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Colorado Springs Utilities sets closure dates of 2 coal plants

Drake Power Plant
Posted at 11:01 AM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 21:57:06-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs Utilities Board announced Friday it has set early closure dates for its two coal plants as part of a new sustainable energy plan for the city.

The board voted to speed up the closure process of the Martin Drake and Ray Nixon power plants that will close by 2023 and 2030, respectively. The Martin Drake Plant is one of the last urban coal plants in the nation, according to CSU.

The CSU Board introduced the new sustainable energy path for the city this month and it aims to achieve "an 80% carbon reduction by 2030."

“This is a historic decision for the future of our utility and this city,” says Utilities Board Chairwoman Jill Gaebler in a release. “It sets us on a path to best support our Energy Vision and its strategic pillars of economics, environment, resiliency and innovation.”

The board will integrate more cost-effective renewable energy and noncarbon resources, such as wind and energy storage, will replace the energy generated from the Ray Nixon Power Plant.

Gov. Jared Polis issued a statement Friday on the city's move toward renewable energy.

“This bipartisan decision is a strong step for the Colorado Springs community, for our state and for our planet. Colorado continues to set an example for the rest of our country when it comes to renewable energy and climate action, and this announcement comes in the wake of numerous electric utilities across the state committing to a transition to clean energy. The pathway toward achieving our goals of protecting our environment and our communities is driven by a bold, swift transition to renewable energy,” he said.

For more than a year, the advisory committee has worked with Springs Utilities staff to develop this new energy plan that will serve Colorado Springs for the next 30 years.

This recommendation is based on a comprehensive financial and technical analysis and takes into consideration public input, growth forecasts for the city and future environmental regulations.