Nicole continues to say it, but it's simple false. The study she references was to evaluate options. They stated rather infatically several time recommendations were not what the study was for. A fact of the study was the most cost effective option for low rates was to run Drake for another 30 years. 30 years, even though the study only looked out 20. And that Drake is of average age for coal fired plants and 30 more years was not unreasonable. When factoring in "social cost", which they admitted were highly subjective, only then did a Drake shut down look more appealing financially. The Utility board is not ignoring anything. The study confirmed what they already knew. Continuing to run Drake is the cheapest option for the rate payers of Colorado Springs. And again, the study, made no recommendation of any kind for any option. They evaluated then, and presented their findings. Period.
@ Ken Brickman... that is actually a very good plan. Seriously. Pretty aggressive time frame of only 6 years and 11 months, but OK. Now all you have to do is find someone to pay for it. We can have anything we want, all we have to do is pay for it.
Build more transmission to bring in more power, bulldoze Drake, move the substation that supplies the West side, build a ball park, new interchange... buy replacement power from someone else for more than we can make it for, generate all our power from natural gas regardless of regular historic price volatility, have our entire city at the mercy of a gas pipeline, find 2000 acres to put solar panels to replace Drake. Add another 2000 for your 50/50, build transmission to bring it in from out East, or build wind farms, then we will have to build storage systems so we have power at night and when the wind dies. Build some reservoirs for pumped storage maybe? We can move the railroad out East too, install cat banks to take over Drakes responsibility for voltage control...
It's a piece of cake. We could start today. $120 mil for the scrubbers would be a mere deposit. Well $70 million because we have already spent $50 million. Only another billion or so to go. Or.... we could scrub Drake. Actually plan for the best time to phase it out. Take the 15-20 years to build new generation and spread it out over a longer time frame. Pay for SDS now. Work on a sustainable stormwater funding solution. Actually PLAN for our best long term interests and how to best accomplish them financially. And continue to do what CSU has historically done: provide a superior 4 service utility with lower rates, higher reliability, and better customer satisfaction compared to it's competition.
The bad thing is, it isn't even going to be that big of a pay day. CSU has been reported to be worth $1.2 billion. That is with all the utilities, not electric. Part of the sell off is to do away with Drake. So if Exel buys the Electric division, they are only buying Nixon, Front Range, and Tesla and bulldozing Drake. So that is more money lost.
You can't sell assets securing bonds, so CSU will have to pay back the bonds it has. There goes $300-400 million. And then there is still the problem of PERA which is certainly not settled in the Memorial lease. So in the end we might come out with enough money to pay for storm water which has been claimed to be $300-500 million worth. We might not.
In the end, no utility is buying CSU to do US a favor. Either it is economically beneficial to them, or it is not. And the only way it is is to get us as regular rate payers to generate revenue. We already know every utility around us is higher than CSU. We may get a break for the first couple of years, but they will get paid.
Then you presumably have an empty field at Cimmaron and I-25. We have zero plans for it's development. So far we have only heard of moving Sky Sox, except the owner said he does not want to move. Sky Sox moving does not bring in new revenue to the city. It already exists. If the land is so valuable, what are the citizen owners getting out of it? Who will pay for the train tracks to be moved, the substation to be moved, the roads and interchanges to be built? I'm going to venture a guess here and say it will not be the developers.
Bottom line is as citizen owners of the Utilities we can have anything we want. All it costs is money. The only question is, who will pay?
All content © Copyright 2016, The Colorado Springs Independent
Website powered by Foundation