CPP customers already on the hook for $19 million, 2.5 million households across eight states overpaying for electricity
CLEVELAND — “Congressman Kucinich (D-OH) is calling for a federal investigation into a series of deals surrounding investments in the Prairie State Energy Campus, a new coal power plant and related facilities in southern Illinois. A new report was released detailing how ratepayers in 217 municipalities across the Midwest, including Cleveland Public Power, will bear the exorbitant cost of deals that were designed to make the municipalities bear the risk of a new multibillion dollar coal plant.
In order to build a new coal plant in southern Illinois, the Peabody Energy Corporation looked past private investment because new plants are a known financial risk. Instead, they turned to regional power agencies like American Municipal Power, who, along with their member municipal agencies like Cleveland Public power, could fund them with bonds. Nine regional power agencies were convinced to become partial owners. The deals specified that the municipalities could get stuck funding the plant even if it never produced electricity.
Now, after foreseeable and preventable cost overruns and subpar performance, ratepayers are forced to buy electricity from the coal plant, known as the Prairie State Generating Company (PSGC) even though the cost of energy on the open market is much cheaper. Cleveland Public Power alone is now expected to pay at least $19 million more than if they had not invested in it. Congressman Kucinich is demanding an investigation from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to protect the ratepayers from the mistakes of Peabody Energy Corporation and the regional power agencies.”
— Nathan White, press release, office of Congressman Dennis Kucinich
— Dan Gearino, Columbus Dispatch
— Ron Reagan, Channel 5 News