Thursday, October 22, 2015

Utilities board advised on energy future

Posted By on Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 10:01 AM

I've been tracking the progress of Colorado Springs Utilities' current Electric Integrated Resource Plan (EIRP) process since late July. 

At a follow-up meeting with Utilities officials and the Customer Advisory Group (CAG) in late September, I observed a clear division among CAG members on which of the portfolio options with which they wished to move forward. 

On Wednesday afternoon, those same Utilities officials, led by project manager Katie Hardman, presented portfolio option D to the Utilities Board (i.e. City Council members), which you can read all about here.

click to enlarge I wouldn't call this slide un-true, but several community members at Wednesday's meeting spoke out against portfolio D, preferring portfolio H, which has a more immediate plan for the decommissioning of Martin Drake. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • I wouldn't call this slide un-true, but several community members at Wednesday's meeting spoke out against portfolio D, preferring portfolio H, which has a more immediate plan for the decommissioning of Martin Drake.

Post Hardman presentation, board members asked several follow-up questions and board president Merv Bennett pointed out that Southern Delivery System planning began 20 years ago in order to come to fruition today, suggesting that utilities should "put a stake in the ground" on future plans for Drake's eventual decommissioning. 

Then three CAG representatives spoke — two reinforcing the plan for portfolio D, the other speaking out for H instead, making a seven-point case of key concerns the board should consider. 

Also during the meeting, one local mother of three children with asthma advocated for cleaner air via Drake's takedown, while an American Lung Association representative also spoke out for air quality. Several other community members also advocated for H, backing the call for more solar and renewables that would be utility owned versus bought in power purchase agreements. 

Council member Andy Pico reminded all in attendance that today's meeting was to hear the presentation and gather information, not make a decision, which should instead come Nov. 18 or possibly at a later date — as some have called for — in order to allow the Neumann System to come online and provide more data on Drake units 6 and 7, along with other potentially informative factors such as a DSM study and further understanding of the Clean Power Plan. 

You may still make a public comment here

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