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GUEST COLUMN: Utilities mulls earlier decommissioning of Drake Power Plant

       By Jerry Forte, Chief Executive Officer of Colorado Springs Utilities

       The Martin Drake Power Plant has been a terrific resource for our community - providing reliable, low-cost power for almost a century. Just as renewable energy and new technologies are evolving in the electric industry, so too have the perceptions and values of our customers.
The Drake Power Plant is shown at dawn in November 2016, in a photo taken from the Cimarron/I-25 interchange.
Westside Pioneer file photo
Last year the Utilities Board set a decommissioning date for the plant of no later than 2035. However, with evolving community perspectives, we are studying additional alternatives to the current closure date.
       Between now and the end of the year, the Utilities Board will look at a number of options to include financial impacts, potential utility uses for the site, economic development opportunities and downtown revitalization plans.
       The Utilities Board wants to know what you think about decommissioning the plant. Because we are community owned, your voice is a very important part of this effort. We will conduct research, hold public meetings, engage customers in telephone town halls and create other opportunities to gain your input in the coming months.
       I encourage you to participate in the process - attend a Utilities Board meeting, call us, follow and engage us on Facebook and Twitter. To learn the latest news about the process visit csu.org.

       Editor's note: The column above initially appeared in Connection, the newsletter that Colorado Springs Utilities (a city-owned enterprise) mails to its customers. Located downtown southeast of the Cimarron/I-25 interchange, the Drake facility is a "185-megawatt coal-fired plant that provides about a quarter of the community's power year-round," according to csu.org.

(Posted 9/22/17; Opinion: Guest Columns)

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