Friday, August 02, 2013

Critics Claim Duke Falsely Claimed Edwardsport Plant Was Operational In Order To Recover Additional Construction Costs From Consumers

The Star's Tony Cook reports that Duke Energy's controversial $3.5 billion Edwardsport power plant has only been operational intermittently since it first opened in June. Indiana utility regulators capped the costs the utility company could recover from consumers at $2.6 billion, which was still more than a billion more than the utility claimed the plant would cost went it obtained approval to build it. Apparently by presenting the plant as operational to regulators when it really wasn't is just another fraudulent scheme cooked up by the corrupt utility to make consumers pay more according to consumer advocates. 
The company confirmed Thursday that the plant shut down June 13, just six days after a Duke news release declared it operational and one day after reporters took a tour. The plant converts coal to synthetic natural gas and uses it to create electricity. It’s the largest plant of its kind in the world.
Duke officials attributed the shutdown to damaged fans that help vaporize wastewater at the plant. Without them, Duke can’t operate the plant’s two gasifyers.
Duke spokeswoman Angeline Protogere said the plant remained offline for nearly a month. On July 9, the company got one of the gasifyers working again. Since then, the plant has operated only intermittently, she said . . .
Opponents say the problems are proof that Duke declared the project “in-service” prematurely. Doing so would allow Duke to recover repair costs from electricity customers, despite a settlement the company reached with state regulators in December . . .
“This has nothing to do with whether the plant is operational and everything to do with Duke Energy bilking ratepayers for costs they should not be able to recover,” said Kerwin Olson of Citizens Action Coalition.
Protogere said Duke disagrees with the accusation that the company is seeking to take advantage of a loophole in the settlement.
“It all depends on the repair,” she said. “Some of it would be considered construction under the hard cap. Others would be considered operation and maintenance costs.”
Meanwhile, Duke announced that it was mothballing a nuclear power plant it has started building north of Orlando, Florida that was projected to cost between $19 and $24 billion. Apparently the utility company owns regulators and state lawmakers in Florida like it does in Indiana because under a state law Florida consumers are still on the hook for the more than $1 billion in costs the company has already spent on the project, which is costing the average Florida customer an additional $5 a month.


Anonymous said...

Careful. You pick on these guys, and you'll end up burned to death in your BMW.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I don't think Duke was Ashley Turton's enemy; it was the man in the White House she gossiped about too much.

Anonymous said...

That's cold, whoever did it. Just burn a mother to death while her kids are upstairs sleeping. Life means nothing to these people.

Flogger said...

What to do??? I have Grandchildren. It seems like being honest is not the way to go in our Society Today. Do any schools offer courses in Compartmentalizing your conscience?? Are there any schools that offer courses in Crony Capitalism? Perhaps a new book should be written "How win friends and influence people only for your sole benefit."