Coal, O&M

Video: Drake coal-fired power plant offline indefinitely due to fire damage

A fire broke out Monday morning at the Martin Drake Power Plant in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Colorado Springs Utilities officials said that one contractor was hospitalized and more than 22,000 people lost electricity for nearly 30 minutes during the fire. Service has since been restored.

In addition, Colorado Springs Utilities said it doesn’t know when the 80-year-old plant will start producing electricity again. The local fire department said the structural integrity of the facility had been compromised as a result of the fire.

With the power plant offline, Colorado Springs Utilities is relying on its other power plants: Front Range, Ray Nixon and Birdsall. Colorado Springs Utilities said it will buy additional electricity on the open market if necessary.

The future of the Martin Drake Power Plant was already up for debate. A 2013 study, found that keeping the plant open would be cost effective, but retiring the plant may be the best option for the environment. The city council is expected to make a decision on the future of the plant this year. The soonest it could have closed prior to the fire was 2019.

The cause and origin of the fire has not yet been determined.

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