Lastly, it needs to be understood that the IURC has declined to protect consumers from a white elephant by refusing to place any operational or performance requirements on the Edwardsport plant. Despite this plant being a first-of-its-kind technology, never built or operated at this scale anywhere in the world, if it doesn’t work or operates at less than the 85 percent capacity factor that Duke opined the plant will achieve, Duke ratepayers are stuck with the bill, no questions asked. As long as the plant runs for even a minute, Duke gets the full amount.
With Duke already collecting more than $30 million per month from customers for this plant, which is already two years behind schedule, Duke indicates it will be another 15 months before the plant is expected to have its “long-term level of availability” — whatever that means. Duke has been less than forthcoming every step of the way with this boondoggle … why should anyone believe them now?
Kerwin Olson is executive director of the Citizens Action Coalition. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.