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Friday, March 07, 2014

Ind. Gov't. - "Environmental groups seek probe of Duke plant: Controversial Edwardsport plant operating at 37 percent of capacity"

John Russell's story today in the Indianapolis Star reports:

A coalition of environmental and citizens’ groups called on Indiana regulators to launch a formal investigation into a growing list of problems and delays that have sharply crimped output of Duke Energy’s controversial Edwardsport power plant.

In a motion filed Thursday with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, the groups say the plant has been beset by failures and outages that have cut deeply into its ability to generate electricity, even as customers continue to pay for construction and repairs on their monthly electric bills.

The plant, in southwestern Indiana, generated only 4 percent of its maximum capacity in January. From June to December, it generated an average of 37 percent of maximum capacity. * * *

In a 24-page motion, with numerous exhibits, the groups argue that Duke prematurely declared Edwardsport to be in commercial operation last summer, before it was “actually used and useful for the convenience of the public.”

Six days after the opening, the plant broke down and remained offline for nearly a month. Since then, the plant has suffered numerous problems, including leaking valves, cracked pipes and frozen machinery.

The environmental groups say that by opening the plant before it was ready, Duke could try to recover repair costs from electricity customers, despite a settlement the company reached in 2012 the set a cap of $2.595 billion, plus millions in financing costs.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 7, 2014 09:36 AM
Posted to Indiana Government