Report: Prairie State Plant Not Fulfilling Promise of Cheap Power

Cities that agreed to buy power from the Prairie State coal plant in southwestern Illinois are paying higher prices than promised by the plant’s developer and will continue to pay above-market rates for electricity for the next decade, according to a report issued Wednesday by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

The group, which does financial analysis for environmental groups and has previously challenged coal plants in Ohio and Texas, estimates that the municipalities and electric cooperatives across an 8-state swath of the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic are paying 40 percent to 100 percent more for power in the plant’s first year than prices cited when they agreed to long-term contracts.

The Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission, a state-chartered entity that buys bulk power for dozens of municipal utilities, owns 12 percent of the Prairie State plant. Kirkwood, Columbia and Hannibal are a few of the 40-plus cities and towns across Missouri that have contracts to buy some of the plant’s output. Read more on St. Louis Post Dispatch.


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