Colorado Springs Utilities is going to maintain and operate Fort Carson’s electric and natural gas system starting next January.
Fort Carson is expected to save money through the new agreement that applies to outdoor infrastructure, since Utilities has more buying power to purchase materials to maintain items such as as electric poles and natural gas lines, Utilities Chief Operations Officer Travis Deal said. He could not give an estimate for how much the work might cost annually, because the military installation will be billed for the time and materials as crews are needed, he said.
“We can use our bigger buying power and our labor and hopefully support them to help keep costs minimal,” he said. The agreement will not affect Colorado Springs customers, a news release said. The term of the agreement is one year but can be renewed for successive one-year periods for an additional nine years.
Fort Carson has been relying on a much smaller contractor for the services Utilities will provide for the past 10 to 15 years.
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“Because Utilities is so much larger than our base operations contractor, it immediately makes us more resilient,” said Col. Nate Springer, Fort Carson garrison commander.
The Army also is working on a project at Fort Carson to double the power produced by solar panels up to 14 megawatts this year and add a second utility-scale battery installation to help with resiliency and serve the 3,400 buildings on the base, he said.
Utilities and Fort Carson are also considering an expansion to the agreement that would include water and wastewater maintenance and operations services that could start in 2024, Deal said.
Fort Carson came to a similar agreement with the city of Fountain last year to provide services such as electrical, plumbing, painting, building remodeling or facilities modifications, among others.