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Gas turbines will help replace coal to start retiring Martin Drake Power Plant

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Colorado Springs Utilities will buy six gas turbine packages from GE to help close the coal-fired Martin Drake Power Plant by December 31, 2022. The goal is for these new units to power the downtown area until a new transmission line can be used in 2025.

These types of gas turbine packages are the first of their kind to be installed in North America. They are expected to start commercial operation by the summer of 2022. The units are designed to be easily relocated and are expected to move to other sites around Colorado Springs in the future. The gas turbine packages are also designed to save cost on the coal-to-gas transition.

According to a press released from Colorado Springs Utilities, the units "provide dual-fuel capability, primarily burning natural gas, and can use liquid fuels to help meet periods of low natural gas availability."

In July, the Colorado Springs Utilities board voted 7-2 to close the Drake by 2023 and the Ray Nixon Plant, south of Colorado Springs, by 2030.

Watch KRDO NewsChannel 13 tonight at 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. to learn more about the future of energy generation in downtown Colorado Springs and what will happen to the site of the current Martin Drake Power Plant.

Colorado Springs / Local News

Sydnee Stelle



  1. The new power units are 3x more expensive to operate and so we will be increasing utility pricing when they go online to offset that cost or operation and install and dismantling.

    1. Actually, operation and maintenance expenses for these gas peakers is much lower than for coal plants.

      When the gas plant runs, its fuel cost per kWh will be higher than for the coal plant, at least some of the time. But the gas units can turn on and off in a few minutes, while the coal units require many hours to start up and thus need to keep running, at least at low levels, even when the energy is not needed or economic. Taking into account the low cost of purchases from the market and the avoided uneconomic operation of Drake, the gas units may well be less expensive even on a fuel basis.

  2. Ha Ha! You all fell for it. The person acting like the President is enacting policies that will make gas and oil prices skyrocket – which is going to make your utility bill double in the next four years (but it will make the big guy rich).

    1. Reducing gas demand through increased efficiency and renewables will reduce natural gas prices. Very little oil is used for electric generation; it’s too expensive.

  3. I used to think coal was terrible until I moved here. I no longer buy the omg coal is so evil hype.

    When downtown smells like a kerosene dump, or a giant fart, and my utility bill goes up by 25%, I’ll know that what Drake was – clean, efficient, inexpensive; is no longer.

  4. “The gas turbine packages are also designed to save cost on the coal-to-gas transition.”
    LOL…. I am sooooo glad I don’t get my power from CSU! Most natural gas in the US comes from Wyoming, that state to the north where Joe Biden just blocked any new drilling of gas wells. Prices gonna skyrocket!

  5. WTH is this city doing?? CSU is going to be jacking up utility prices in the coming years to levels that that are going to devastate the middle class and poor.

    This country really needs a revolution 2.0 to get rid of a government now occupied by crimnal marxist democrat frauds led by marxist OLIGARCHS and a fraudulent elected senile puppet president, they are on a fast track mission to destroy America.


    1. To clarify, the middle class and poor have already been devastted to a great degree here in this city by increased housing prices, taxes, utility prices and no one in our local government gives a rats behind…..Notice all the homeless whose numbers are greaatly underestimated, expect more.

      Welcome to ColoCommieFornia Springs where the middle class and the poor are of no consideration and are being driven to desperate levels of poverty/survival.

  6. KRDO stated during the broadcast that the city would ask it’s constituents what they would like to see them do with this space once the power plant is no longer there.

    I would ask, what will the Environmental Protection Agency allow to be done on these grounds after how many years of coal burning and heavy metals have been placed, stored, burned on and leeched into the ground and groundwater. If this ground is not usable for habitation, my retort would be then why attempt to do something except keeping the power plant at this location. We don’t need another Gold Hill Mesa where people are living on an old tailings pile.

    1. Ha! Must have just moved here – What’s most likely is the City will be obligated to clean up at taxpayers expense, then the land will be “traded” for some krrap land to the Broadmoor or developer, who will then get tax breaks to “redevelop” it. Welcome to Colorado Springs, where the wealth transfer is from current resident to the developers pockets all in the name of “growth”!

  7. Gas prices going up, being dependent on our enemies to supply us oil, giving China access to our power grid…. Biden screwed up America in his first month in office. Can’t wait to see what the rest of his term offers.

  8. A lot of the older houses in the Springs have fireplaces and wood stove inserts. If heating costs go too high, I (and I would imagine others) will be tossing some logs into the old wood stove to heat the house and using candles at night for light. How’s that for lowering emissions?

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