IBJNews

IURC caps ratepayers' share of Edwardsport plant at $2.6B

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

State utility regulators on Thursday approved a settlement capping at $2.59 billion what Duke Energy ratepayers would shoulder for construction of the company’s Edwardsport coal gasification plant, which has suffered massive cost overruns.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission modified the settlement slightly—requiring Duke to also credit customers $28 million for cost control incentives the utility received that the commission “found to be unwarranted.” 

However, the commission noted that while the settlement limits project costs, it allows the utility to recover financing charges accrued during construction.

The plant initially was proposed to cost $1.98 billion. But overruns pushed the tab beyond $3.5 billion, with Duke shareholders forced to eat about $900 million of the added cost.

Citizens Action Coalition, which had opposed the settlement, said Duke ratepayers will have to pay at least $655 million in financing charges over and above the settlement cap. It wants the commission to revisit its prior approval of the plant.

The settlement—reached earlier this year between Duke, its big industrial customers and the Office of Utility Consumer Counselor—was opposed by CAC, Sierra Club, Save the Valley and Valley Watch.

CAC accuses Duke and its contractors of mismanaging the project and of unduly influencing the IURC. 

Former IURC Chairman David Lott Hardy was fired by Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2010 after e-mails showed Hardy was chummy with Duke executives and that he allowed a former administrative law judge to participate in the Edwardsport case while the judge sought a job with the utility.

 “We have a lot to mull over,” said Kerwin Olson, executive director of CAC.  “This is pretty much a rubber stamp,” he said of the commission’s ruling Thursday.

The groups likely will appeal the decision.

“Perhaps most important of all is our firm position that customers should not have to pay for any cost overruns which are attributable to imprudence or mismanagement of the project, which by Duke, GE, Bechtel or their many subcontractors,” said Olson.

The downstate generating plant was to have gone online this fall, although Duke now says that won’t occur until mid-2013 as it works through technical issues.  The complex plant will not burn coal to generate power but rather convert coal to a cleaner-burning gas.

In a statement Thursday, Duke spokeswoman Angeline Protogere said: "The plant will help us meet increasingly strict federal environmental regulations while still using an abundant local resource, Indiana coal. Edwardsport will serve the electric energy needs of our Indiana customers for decades to come."
 

 

 

 


 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Gotta love corporate america!
    what a great country we live in!!! for profit companies get customers to pay for all there capitalization costs!! and what benefits consumers in this deal? oh wait, it doesnt. like everything else in this pathetic country we constantly cater corporate america at the expense of consumers.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

ADVERTISEMENT