COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Seven weeks after the Drake Power Plant Fire, we're getting our first look at one of the repaired units, as it's tested for the first time.
Springs utilities touts its ahead of schedule after a fire disabled three units and customers had to pay more for power.
But not much has changed inside.
Dan Higgins, Interim Energy Supply Manager for Colorado Springs Utilities, said everything has been rebuilt to restore the units to their previous state.
But upgrades were not an option.
"While we have industry leading 100 day runs," Higgins said. "We have great performance, great ability, we have every reason to believe with the proper attention, these units will continue to run as long as we need them to."
Construction crews have been working virtually every day for the past seven weeks and they're ahead of schedule.
That means rate decreases even sooner for customers.
Customers saw a five dollar jump in their energy bills this month because CSU had to pay for energy from an outside source, to the tune of $3 million.
"The purpose of the ECA is to make sure the cost associated with generating electricity, whether it's gas or coal, there's no profit, no loss," he said. "It's just the acutal recovery of the cost for making electricity."
CSU had no insurance for the lost energy it needs to recoup, but it does have coverage for the building.
Value of the repairs so far is about $7 million.
Immediately after the fire, many critics called for the plant to be closed permanently. Also, they pushed for an alternative energy source to be found.
CSU says for a new plant like that to be built, it would have cost about $500,000.