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Comments being taken through Nov. 15 on Springs Utilities electric plan

       A comment period on a new Electric Integrated Resource Plan (EIRP) for Colorado Springs Utilities will continue through Nov. 15.
       According to Gail Conners, EIRP public process manager, the plan is a strategy for the city-owned enterprise that “focuses on safe, reliable power that is respectful of the environment while minimizing costs to ratepayers.”
       People can submit comments through a survey link online at csu.org, and they had the chance to
A 350-foot-tall crane, capable of lifting 660 tons, is being used this fall to lift the majority of the equipment needed to build the sulfur dioxide (SO2) scrubber in unit 6 at Colorado Springs Utilities' downtown Drake Power Plant. According to a Utilities press release, scrubbers are being constructed at Drake to "comply with Environmental Protection Agency regulations to reduce SO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants by December 2017." This view is from a hill west of Eighth Street, off Moreno Avenue.
Westside Pioneer photo
speak at a public meeting of City Council (serving in its role as the Utilities Board) Oct. 21.
       Springs Utilities' Customer Advisory Group (CAG), a citizen advisory group to the Utilities Board, has spent several months reviewing EIRP options and has recommended a plan.
       A Utilities press release explains the issue:
       “After more than a year of data collection, forecasts and public input, the EIRP has entered its final phase for its current planning cycle. Several high-scoring portfolios were reviewed with the CAG and the public.
       “Based on all factors including cost (with and without the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan), financial risk and intangibles, Portfolio D scored the highest.
       “Portfolio D calls for running Drake Unit Five on natural gas and using it primarily as a peaking unit beginning in 2018, with 10 percent Demand Side Management (DSM) and 20 percent renewable resources by 2020. DSM and renewable goals would include cost caps. At their final meeting, the CAG expressed their support of Portfolio D with additional options to mothball or decommission Drake Unit Five…
       “Portfolios that had CAG support were D, F and H, which are detailed on the EIRP web page [at csu.org]. Each of those three portfolios share the same level of DSM which had the highest benefit-to-cost ratio of all DSM levels studied in the EIRP.
       “Portfolio F shares many of the same characteristics as Portfolio D; however, it would reduce renewable energy to 10 percent by 2020 and therefore has lower diversity and lower scores for customer preference for renewable energy. Portfolio H, which was also favored by some CAG members and the public, includes many of the same benefits as Portfolio D, with additional societal benefits, but it has higher financial risk with the complete decommissioning of the Drake Power Plant.”
       The press release adds that in public input to date, some people preferred E because it lowers energy demand and has more energy efficiency options. "But the uncertainty of annual funding and the low relative portfolio diversity kept it out of the top three choices," the release explains.
       Conners can be reached at 668-8012 or gconners@csu.org.
       The Utilities Board could make its decision at its Nov. 18 meeting, the press release states.

From a press release
(Posted 10/20/15, updated 10/22/15; Community: Ongoing Issues)

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