WASHINGTON, D.C. – “Higher utility bills for 2.5 million ratepayers in eight states and billions of dollars in fiscal fallout for elected officials in hundreds of communities are expected now that the cost of electricity from the Prairie Energy Prairie State Energy Campus (PSEC) coal-fired power plant will be 40 to 100 percent higher than promised by Peabody Energy, according to a major new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).
Sold by Peabody as a cheap source of power to public power entities representing 217 municipalities and 17 electric membership cooperatives in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia, the PSEC project is now behind schedule, well over budget (with construction costs estimated as high as $4.9 billion versus the original $1.8 billion projection), and not yet producing power as promised, according to the new IEFFA report, ‘The Prairie State Coal Plant: The Reality vs. the Promise.’
Based on a detailed review of documents for the communities in Ohio and Missouri, the IEEFA report estimates annual losses per community through 2025 will range from $3 million to $56 million, reflecting the ‘significant fiscal problems and stresses for the participating communities’ in the troubled PSEC project. Since 2007, Peabody Energy has shifted 95 percent of its exposure in the PSEC onto the backs of local communities and coops.”
— press release, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis