IBJNews

State green-lights deeper look into fuel costs at Duke plant

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission will press forward with a deeper look into fuel costs that Duke Energy Indiana has reported for its new Edwardsport plant.

A separate state agency for utility consumers says the $3.5 billion plant, which began commercial production in June, consumed more energy than it produced during some periods in September, October and November.

The agency, the Office of the Utility Consumer Counselor, estimates that the negative generation cost Duke $1.5 million during those three months. It wants to block Duke's ability to reclaim those costs from its customers.

The office asked the IURC in March to grant more time for scrutiny of Duke's request to recover fuel costs. The IURC, which would approve cost recovery, has agreed to look into the matter further.

Duke has disagreed with the OUCC's assessment and its methodology for calculating the costs. A representative told the IURC during a recent hearing that the fuel costs were neither excessive nor unreasonable, according to a commission filing.

Edwardsport also shut down for 15 days during the three-month period for routine maintenance, Duke noted.

"The station is performing within the original start-up plan, and that activity during this testing, tuning, and optimization time period is important as it produces long-term benefits and efficiencies for the customer,” Duke told the IURC.

In minutes from the hearing, IURC officials generally agreed with Duke but concluded "the public interest is served by a detailed review of the underlying causes of the Edwardsport [negative generation]."

The three-month period in question came before Edwardsport’s production plummeted in January due to technical problems. The slump continued into February, because Duke moved up routine maintenance for the plant, the company said. Duke has said that production rebounded in March.

"When the plant went commercial in June, we estimated Edwardsport would build up to its long-term level of availability (the amount of time it is available to operate) over 15 months," spokeswoman Angeline Protogere said in an email. "It’s a large, complex project, and it has taken time to work out technical issues."

Duke Energy Indiana provides electricity to about 790,000 homes and businesses in Indiana. Parent firm Duke Energy Corp., based in Charlotte, N.C., operates dozens of power plants and serves 7.2 million electric retail customers in six states in the Southeast and Midwest.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Pig
    Is another pig in the poke concept by Mitch Daniel.
  • Solar is a Sure thing
    The IGCC-based unit at Edwardsport Coal Gasification plan will consume 1.7-1.9 million tons of coal per year and is projected 618 MW of base-load electricity. By comparison the existing $40 million solar farm by the Indianapolis Airport Produces 16.5 megawatt hours (MWh) per year, enough to power 1,800 homes . some quick math on that 3.5billion divided by 40 million: 3500000000/40000000= 87 solar farms like the one at the indianapolis airport. That would be over 1400MW (megawatts) per year, nearly twice the energy for the same amount of construction costs. Also interesting to note that wikipedia says coal-gas's heyday was 1850. sad face. Time to do some real reporting IBJ. This is a huge waste of money. Go Solar. ....and why don't you report on the huge wind farms in northern indiana. a farmer gets like 10,000$ a year for a turbine. average acre produces about 5,000$, so its a huge benefit for indiana. Indiana has been tricked by Duke energy.

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. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............

ADVERTISEMENT