The Martin Drake power plant in downtown Colorado Springs was listed among 353 coal-fired plants in the country that are “ripe for retirement” in a report from the Union of Concerned Scientists released today.
The Union of Concerned Scientists is a science-based nonprofit that started as a collaboration between students and faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1969, according to its website. While the report didn’t list the Sierra Club as a partner, members publicized its results Tuesday.
The report listed Martin Drake as a plant where two of its three generators are “ripe for retirement.” The two it lists were installed between 1962 and 1969. The criteria the report uses to judge plants “ripe for retirement” is that they are less economical to operate than existing natural gas-fired plants.
“Today’s report offers even more evidence of the economic drag the Martin Drake coal-fired power plant has on Colorado Springs and raises again the question of why Utilities is sinking more money into the plant,” Sierra Club organizer Bryce Carter, said in a statement. The Sierra Club is considering suing Colorado Springs Utilities for what it says are violations of federal law in operating the power plant.
The report comes on the heels of the Colorado Springs Utilities Board’s decision to move forward both on installing Neumann Systems Group coal scrubber technology at the plant and to request a study on decommissioning Drake.