May 13, 2014 9:59 PM by Matt Prichard

First look inside Martin-Drake

Colorado Springs Utilities opening the doors to Martin-Drake and letting cameras inside to get a look at the fire damage surrounding turbine five. 

"Unit five is the smallest of the three units generating normally 50-megawatts of electricity. And so that's unit five's roll here at this plant. In terms of a unit that was to be affected, better to have the smaller of the three," said Interim General Manager of the Energy Supply Department, Daniel Higgins.

The turbine bursting into flames a week ago, after lubricating oil spilled into it. But those with Springs Utilities aren't dwelling on last week, they're looking forward and trying to get the restoration work done as quickly as possible.

"Right now we have a restoration contractor that's been selected. They've been down taking samples on Sunday so they can characterize the environmental condition and begin their clean-up planning. And in the meantime we have plant staff, working on a variety of areas at the plant," said Higgins.

But perhaps the biggest question on the table is when will Martin-Drake come back online. That remains up in the air for everyon, including Springs Utilities.

"At this point we're not estimating that. What we want to do is get focused on making sure that the area is safe to perform work in and basically get the fire damage cleaned up," said Higgins.

The work is just beginning for Springs Utilities. But Higgins says they're making steady progress and hopes for patience as they work to get the plant back up and running.



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