Duke Energy IGCC project cost recovery: Consumer comments invited
Public field hearings scheduled for February 28 in Columbus and March 1 in Kokomo
Written comments invited from consumers throughout Duke Energy Indiana's service territory
Consumers are invited to comment on Duke Energy's request for approval of a revised cost estimate for its coal gasification power plant under construction in Edwardsport, Ind.
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) - the state agency representing consumer interests in all cases before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) - is accepting written consumer comments for the case record. The OUCC also encourages consumers to attend either of the IURC's upcoming public field hearings in this case:
- Monday, February 28, 2011: Columbus North High School Auditorium (1400 25th St., Columbus, Ind.)
- Tuesday, March 1, 2011: Kokomo Event Center (1500 N. Reed Rd., Kokomo, Ind.)
The public comment portion at each field hearing will begin at 6:00 p.m. local time.
- Sworn oral and written comments regarding the case will be accepted during the field hearings.
- Oral and written consumer comments carry equal weight, and will become part of the official evidentiary record considered by the IURC in reaching its final decision.
- Commissioners are not permitted to answer consumer questions during the formal field hearings. (However, OUCC and IURC staff will be available before, during and after the hearings.)
An OUCC informational session on the regulatory process and public field hearing procedures will start at 5:30 p.m. each evening.
Duke Energy is building a 630-megawatt generating facility in Edwardsport, Ind. that will produce electricity by using integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) technology to convert coal into a synthetic gas and remove emissions from the gas before it is burned.
When proposed in 2006, the Edwardsport project had an estimated cost of $1.985 billion which has since been revised to $2.35 billion. In this proceeding, Duke Energy is seeking IURC permission to increase the cost estimate to $2.88 billion and recover those costs from its Indiana ratepayers over the long term.
The OUCC filed testimony in July 2010 expressing serious concerns about the project's rising costs and recommending that they be capped at an amount significantly lower than $2.88 billion. A settlement agreement was reached among Duke Energy, the OUCC and other consumer parties in September 2010; it was withdrawn in December after communications between two members of Duke Energy's negotiating team (who are no longer with the company) and the IURC's now former chairman became public, raising concerns about the integrity of the negotiations.
Consumers throughout Duke Energy's service territory who wish to submit written comments in this case may send them to the OUCC by mail, fax or e-mail, or through the OUCC's Website:
- Mail: Consumer Services Staff
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor
115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South
Indianapolis, IN 46204
- Fax: (317) 232-5923
- E-mail: uccinfo@oucc.IN.gov
- OUCC Website: www.IN.gov/OUCC
All written comments should include the consumer's name, mailing address, and a reference to IURC Cause No. 43114-IGCC 4-S1.
For more information, please visit the OUCC Website at www.in.gov/oucc/2625.htm.
(IURC Cause No. 43114 - IGCC 4 - S1)
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) represents Indiana consumer interests before state and federal bodies that regulate utilities. As a state agency, the OUCC's mission is to represent all Indiana consumers to ensure quality, reliable utility services at the most reasonable prices possible through dedicated advocacy, consumer education, and creative problem solving. To learn more, visit www.IN.gov/OUCC.