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Coal plant in downtown Colorado Springs to close in 2023

drake power plant Cropped

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Martin Drake power plant's days are numbered in downtown Colorado Springs; the board voted Friday in favor of shuttering the city's coal plant by 2023.

Officials have wanted to decommission the Drake power plant, one of only a few urban coal plants left in the country, for years; but a final timeline has also taken years of planning.

Friday, the CSU board voted 7-2 to close the Drake by 2023 and the Ray Nixon Plant, south of Colorado Springs, by 2030. CSU says it gets 416 megawatts of coal-fired power.

Instead, CSU will be relying on 500 megawatts of new wind energy, 150 megawatts of solar power, and more than 400 megawatts of battery storage.

According to an analysis by Strategen provided to CSU, decommissioning both of the plants and replacing them with wind energy could save customers more than $150 million.

Watch KRDO NewsChannel 13 tonight for more information and what the closures will mean for the city.

Andrew McMillan

Andrew is the Digital Content Director for Learn more about Andrew here.



  1. COULD SAVE. If it such a strong case then why don’t they state WILL SAVE?

    Tax payers and customers will be tricked again and of course they will have to pay higher rates!
    Solar and Batteries? That’s the way to power A CITY!

  2. Coal plant in downtown Colorado Springs missed in 2024 when utility rates double.

  3. Yet again Colorado springs City council proves their ineptitude and stupidity.

  4. So how about the study that said closing Nixon and Drake would increase utility rates by up to 14%. That is why they spent Millions on the scrubber system that was just finished at Drake.

    I know there is a lot of interest in the land Drake sits on for more downtown development but also it will take 5-10 years to decommission the plant and mitigate the coal and hazardous waste contamination.

    Wind and solar has become a joke. The costs are not worth the benefit. The only benefit is you “feel good”. Rates and costs are higher. Not to mention the landfills are now being filled with old/damaged wind turbine blades that can’t be recycled.

  5. Don’t worry, it will only cost $1 billion to remove the plant and clean up the site – all paid for by a utility rate increase.

  6. I’ll breathlessly await my electricity rate reduction. This, combined with a similar reduction enacted for saving so much water, will assuredly lower my monthly utility bill. HAHAHAHA!!!!!
    The only good news in this story is the timeline provided to sell my home and get the heck outta here.

  7. Better late than never, Colorado. These willfully ignorant conservative voters may not care about poisoning future generations, but the rest of us do.

  8. A slow phasing out of the power plants would seem like a more prudent plan.

    1. Also keeping the existing coal plants in a state of standby for the first few years of the new power generation methods would be wise…..You never know what may happen and explaining why the city is in the dark will be hard to do and embarassing.

      1. Better yet keep the coal plants until better more reliable proven technologies emerge…I just do not trust this current plan and I know I am far from being alone.

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