Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Shock Claim: Edwardsport Power Plant Costs 876% Higher Than Market Costs

A new study prepared by Sommer Energy LLC on behalf of Citizens Actions Coalition and other public interest groups provides compelling evidence to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to deny Duke Energy's attempt to shift costs from its new Edwardsport coal gasification plant. That's the plan Duke Energy told utility regulators would cost $1.9 billion but have since ballooned to over $3.5 billion. Despite the utility company's declaration that the new plant was readied for "in-service" operation as of June 2013, it has been plagued by equipment and operational failures and multiple start-up problems according to the report that have added to the power plant's already excessive price tag, costs Duke wants to shift to its ratepayers.

The IURC is beginning hearing this week to determine who should pay for the cost over-runs associated with the Edwardsport plant. Duke claimed in October 2011 that "the plant's high efficiency means that it can turn fuel into energy as a lower cost---the lowest cost on our system." Both of those statements are untrue according to the Sommer Energy report, which found the plant had only been able to convert one quarter of its fuel into electricity, well below the 36% promised by Duke. The report found that the plant's costs were 876% higher than if the power had been purchased on the market during the June 2013 to March 2014 period. Market cost within Duke's MISO was $33.5 per MWH, while Edwardsport's costs came in at $327.03 per MWH according to the report.

The report also disputes Duke's claim that Edwardsport would be "among the cleanest coal plants in the world" and would be capable of complying with new environmental rules. The report found that while the plant had the 9th lowest rate of SO2 emissions, the plant was only 86th in NOx emissions and ranked 323rd in CO2 emissions.

Citizens Action Coalition is urging Indiana regulators to make Duke bear all the additional costs outlined in the Sommer report at a hearing it's conducting this morning. According to the public interest group, the hearing will determine whether ratepayers will receive relief from the excessive costs or customers will be paying for them for years to come.


Anonymous said...

Other shock news:

Ryan Grigson has been confirmed as the rat to the NFL about the Patriot's balls, and the only truly underinflated ball given to the league was the ball in Grigson's possession.

The discussion is that Grigson deflated the ball prior to handing it to the officials.

Grigson's name is now mud around the NFL, and the Colts look like a bunch of whiny crybabies on the Internet.

Other shock news: The Falcons have admitted to piping in crowd noise. They didn't think it up on their own. The Colts have been found to be piping in crowd noise more than any other team.

Speculation is that the NFL will be forced to take action against the Colts for lying to cause an inflation controversy and for piping in crowd noise.

Anonymous said...

You've got to feel bad for Ogden. He went way into cuckoo town over the footballs. He planted his flag on this; he wouldn't publish dissenting opinions, and it's all kind of fallen apart for him.

The "chain of custody" stuff he was yelling. Ouch. The only ball that was so out of spec as to draw any concern was the ball that was in the Colts' custody.

Some of the comments in the NBC article are very damning of Grigson and the Colts.

Will Ogden publish a retraction?

Flogger said...

I think we can pretty sure the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission will rule in Duke's favor no matter what the facts are. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission is to Utilities what the CIB is to the Pacers and Colts. Need money or favorable ruling here it is.

Josh said...

And it only gets better. I live about 5 miles from the monstrosity, and there have been nights when it's hard to breathe outside. No joke or exageration. One night it was so bad that it woke me up -meaning I was in my home with the windows closed- unable to catch my breathe, it was fumes from the power plant and you always know that smell and where it comes from. I was contemplating getting out the old gas mask from gulf war one, the miniseries I have stored away. Instead I used the blankets to try to filter out the noxiousness. The plant actually offered an "email service" to alert customers when they should stay indoors and close their windows. I presume that at night the plant doesn't draft the fumes up and away but rather down and around it comes, spreading out in town and over field. I have driven through Edwardsport at night when this is taking place and it's kinda like driving through a dark cloud that covers the ground up to hood level on the vehicle. Also the plant's basically a gigantic jet engine so you can imagine the sound, I pity those who live right next to it. When it was first proposed I could drive along the street and hiome after home had a sign in the lawn saying say yes to the new power plant. I was like no@ Say no to the new power plant! They're going to charge us at least 15 percent more on our power bill to build it rather than charge the distant customers who are going to benefit from the plant while we have to live in its toxic cloud and hear its breathing. s to all the jobs it allegeldy creates, well, they left when the plant was completed. I was eating in a local bar one day during construction and some of the engineers from the plant were there too, all from Italy. I guess most of the construction labor was also from out of state.

So we're left with at least 15 percent higher rates, omnipresent noise, and sometimes a noxious cloud to live in. I often think about a class action suit.

Anonymous said...

Josh, look up an event called the Donora Smog.