The final consultant's report on the downtown Drake Power Plant
has been released, triggering a decision process that City Council
members promise will include extensive public input.
In fact, that decision is one of Councilor Val Snider
's highest priorities as described in his year-ahead goals featured in our cover story, which comes out tomorrow.
City Council serves as the Utilities Board
of city-owned Colorado Springs Utilities
, which provides water, wastewater, gas and electric services.
The 160-page study
generally concludes that keeping Drake on line for a long time is the best financial option
, but it also states there are so many unknowns ahead, including reliability
of an aging plant and environmental
requirements for emissions control of carbon, that a shorter time-frame probably is the best course. That would mean shutting Drake down in six to nine years.
From the study's executive summary:
The ultimate decision of when to retire the Drake Power Plant is one that must balance the financial and sustainable aspects and impacts on the overall CSU Utility system and operations and is principally driven and directly impacted by Colorado Springs’ environmental priorities. The analysis of alternatives has demonstrated that an earlier retirement does result in marginally higher financial costs to CSU, but conversely does also provide significant environmental and social benefits for the community. The community decision will be determined by the weighting and prioritization of these financial and environmental considerations as clear trade-offs exist between the studied alternatives.
Read the entire study here: