Historic Martin Drake coal-fired plant retired in Colorado Springs

Martin Drake Power Plant in 1925. Image credit Colorado Springs Utilities

Colorado Springs Utilities shut down its nearly 100-year-old coal-fired generation plant in downtown last month, a sign of the move to renewable and lower-carbon power.

The Martin Drake Power Plant ceased generation on Aug. 27, three weeks after it received the final coal train delivery. In its place, Utilities is adopting temporary modular gas-fired gen-sets on the site in a project partnering with Stanley Consultants and others.

Jessie Marshall, senior project engineer with CSU, talked about the once and future plans during a POWERGEN+ webcast last month. You can click here to register for free for any and all Plus sessions.

Electric service in Colorado Springs began October 2025. Coal was delivered via train from Wyoming’s mines.

Power generators in the state have shut down 18, or more than half, of the coal-fired plants located in Colorado. Even so, coal-fired generation still accounts for more than 35 percent of the state’s electricity resource mix, according to reports.

State leaders and environmental groups are pushing to shut down another 12 in the near future. Many believe that developing solar and utility-scale wind will off-set the carbon-emitting generation resources.

In the meantime, Colorado Springs Utilities is developing its modular, gas-fired generation project as a bridge to a lower or no-carbon electricity pathway.

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