(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Colorado Springs Utilities (Springs Utilities) has started generating power with the first of six modular natural gas units at the Martin Drake Power Plant.

Springs Utilities said over the next several weeks each unit will go online and offline for testing purposes, to ensure safe long-term operation. The process will continue until late April/early May before all six units are officially commissioned.

“The next two to three months are really important,” said Shawn Timothy, Energy Project Manager Supervisor. “We’ve become very familiar with the equipment during construction, but actually conducting start-up operations and testing processes provides invaluable hands-on learning for our team.”

According to Springs Utilities, the units together have a generating capacity of 162 megawatts, feature a small footprint, low emissions, high reliability, and low maintenance.

“Responsible and efficient natural gas generation will remain a key part of our energy mix over the next decade,” wrote Springs Utilities. “Having natural gas resources at our disposal will enable us to carefully incorporate technologies such as battery storage and renewable resources like solar and wind.”

Eventually, Springs Utilities plans to relocate the six units from the Drake site to other parts of the electric grid to maintain system resiliency and reliability.