Citizens comment on future of Drake power plant

City council, utilities board expect final decision this summer

Citizens Comment on Future of Drake Power Plant

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - On Wednesday, the Colorado Springs City Council and the Colorado Springs Utilities Board began taking public feedback during a meeting that continued the process of determining the fate of the Drake power plant.

The plant, built in phases between 1964 and 1974, has been criticized for being an eyesore, outdated and inefficient.

Officials will continue to take public input until the end of June and make a final decision on the plant's fate shortly after that.

Last year, a citizen task force came up with a list of 12 options for the plant -- determining that keeping the plant open is the most affordable option, while closing it by 2019 is the best overall alternative.

"If we decide to close the Drake power plant, a few of the things that we need to consider are:  Where do we get the power that the power plant now supplies?" said Val Snider, a council and board member.  "What kind of power do we want?  And project what kind of demand we're going to have in the future, in the community?"

Officials are basing their decision about the plant's future on environmental, financial and social factors.  Drake generates about a third of the energy used by utility customers.

The utility currently is spending more than $250 million to upgrade emissions controls at the Drake and Nixon power plants.

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