Overview

Martin Drake Power Plant’s coal to gas conversion

The challenge

In accord with Colorado’s statewide greenhouse gas emissions roadmap, the Colorado Springs Utilities Board moved to retire its coal-fired Martin Drake Power Plant by 2022—12 years earlier than planned. In its aim for grid stability and renewables growth, the Colorado Springs Utilities Board turned to GE.

The solution

GE’s recently debuted LM2500XPRESS* power plant technology is quick to install and saves costs on coal-to-gas transition. Its easy integration of intermittent renewable resources will ease the retirement of the Martin Drake Power Plant. The six GE units put Colorado Springs Utilities on a path to reduce CO2 by at least 80% by 2030, from 2005 levels.

Outcomes

Reducing carbon by 80%

6 x 34 MW

LM2500XPRESS gas turbines

12 years

Colorado’s early jump on moving to renewables

carbon reduction by 2030

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These natural gas units will help us better integrate renewable energy sources, further reduce CO2 emissions, and accelerate the retirement of our Martin Drake Power Plant.

Aram Benyamin

Colorado Springs Utilities CEO

GE’s LM2500XPRESS gas turbines are 95% factory assembled for a “plug and play” package that can be installed in as little as two weeks; a timely way to generate fast grid power. Each power block includes a modular GE LM2500 aeroderivative gas turbine and gas compressor. A black-start diesel generator was also included for start-up reliability.

These dual-fuel units, primarily burning natural gas, are liquid-fuels compatible for periods of low natural gas availability. Advanced emissions control uses a dry low emission combustion system that eliminates water use, and an oxidation catalyst to lessen emissions from the units.

The 34-MW LM2500XPRESS units are the first of their kind to be installed in North America, expecting to start commercial operation by the summer of 2022. Using the highly modular nature of the units, the LM2500XPRESS units will eventually be relocated to other sites in the Colorado Springs area.

With GE’s LM2500XPRESS power plant technology, Colorado Springs Utilities will be able to provide reliable, flexible power and renewables growth, putting it on the path to decarbonize its electricity service by up to 80% by 2030.

*Trademark of General Electric Company