CO Power Plant Up after Fire

Monday, June 30, 2014 @ 07:06 PM gHale

After a May fire brought down several units at the coal-fired Martin Drake Power Plant in Colorado Springs, CO, one unit went back on line last week.

In bucking the trend of closing down coal-fired plants, Drake’s unit six went online Wednesday using coal to generate electricity.

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Two other units remain out of commission after a fire at the plant in May.

Springs Utilities said it is cheaper to produce electricity at the Drake plant than it is to generate the same amount of power at the other plants Springs Utilities operates, or buy from a third party.

Insurance does not cover the extra cost of producing replacement power, which meant the utility had to raise its rates. Springs Utilities said as the Drake plant comes back online, those rates should drop again.

The cause of the May 5 fire was lubricating oil coming in contact with a hot steam pipe. Investigators ruled it an accident.

Investigators said the initial phase of the investigation has determined the fire was the result of “free flowing lubricating oil coming in contact with high temperature steam pipes which resulted in the flash fire.”

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