City leaders, GRO Missouri urge new look at power plant contract

3 years 3 months 1 week ago Tuesday, March 17 2015 Mar 17, 2015 Tuesday, March 17, 2015 4:00:00 PM CDT March 17, 2015 in 8 Goes Green
By: Amanda LaBrot, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - City leaders and GRO Missouri want the city to reevaluate its long-term contract with a major coal burning power plant. 

Columbia signed a 40-year contract with Prairie State Energy Campus, in Marissa, Ill., in 2006 to provide the city with coal- generated energy.  The city buys about a quarter of its energy from Prairie State, and Councilperson Ian Thomas and Gretchen Maune of GRO Missouri said they had some concerns.

"It's a 40-year contract. That's a long time to keep using coal power with global warming and everything else, " Maune said.

Thomas said, "In addition to locking us into burning fossil fuels for the next forty years, thereby undermining our ability to transition to clean energy, this contract gives us no ability to negotiate the price of the energy we purchase."

Connie Kacprowicz of Columbia Water and Light said it's financially safer to "lock in" some of the city's energy contracts to ensure a set rate, but Thomas and Maune said the rate has regularly been higher than the price set in the contract.

"In the first few years of actual operations, we have regularly paid more than twice the rate "promised" by Prairie State," Thomas said. 

Maune agreed, "The prices they've been charging us have regularly been twice as much as it was going to be, and a few times, it's been three times as much as what they told us it was going to be. Well over $100 per megawatt hour."

Kacprowicz said these numbers are from 2013, and don't accurately represent what's gong on now.

Manue said three city council members, Karl Skala, Barbara Hoppe and Thomas are working with GRO Missouri to evaluate the contract. 

"The council members I mentioned agreed to meet with an attorney to look at the contract, and see about the possibilities of getting out of it."

GRO Missouri also has environmental concerns about burning coal over such a long period of time. The plant wasn't completed or functioning until 2012, and because the plant is newer, Columbia Water and Light said it's more likely to be in line with the newest emission guidelines. Kacprowicz said the city is already using several renewable energy sources, and is above the amount required for the by 2014. She said renewable energy is important, but a more reliable, constant energy is needed.

"Electricity is something that you can't store," Kacprowicz said. "So it makes it a lot more complicated, and that's why there's federal guidelines on reliability. We certainly don't want to get to the point where we don't have the power when it's being demanded and have to do either rolling brown outs or blackouts."

Manue submitted a petition to the city council earlier this month asking for a public hearing with Peabody Energy, the owner of Prairie Energy Campus.

More News

Grid
List
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin has cracked a rib of U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill while performing the Heimlich... More >>
54 minutes ago Monday, June 25 2018 Jun 25, 2018 Monday, June 25, 2018 10:00:30 AM CDT June 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The First Presbyterian Church in Jefferson City is kicking off its annual “Food 4 Kids” program Monday.... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, June 25 2018 Jun 25, 2018 Monday, June 25, 2018 7:36:00 AM CDT June 25, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A 15-year-old is being widely praised for an act of kindness during a cross-country flight. Clara Daly... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, June 25 2018 Jun 25, 2018 Monday, June 25, 2018 5:47:00 AM CDT June 25, 2018 in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — Former Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder has resigned from a leadership position with a federal agency,... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, June 25 2018 Jun 25, 2018 Monday, June 25, 2018 5:29:00 AM CDT June 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department said one person is in custody after a shooting on Rice Road Sunday night.... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, June 25 2018 Jun 25, 2018 Monday, June 25, 2018 1:04:00 AM CDT June 25, 2018 in Top Stories
TIPTON - Some Tipton residents are working together to run their own hog farm. This is in response to... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 7:46:00 PM CDT June 24, 2018 in News
BEAVER DAM, Wis. (AP) — Sprint car driver Jason Johnson has died following a crash at Beaver Dam Raceway in... More >>
19 hours ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 3:52:00 PM CDT June 24, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A 17-year-old from Jefferson City will be competing at the CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin in August.... More >>
20 hours ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 2:20:00 PM CDT June 24, 2018 in Sports
(CNN) - Partial results in Turkey's snap elections put President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his party in the lead, lifting... More >>
20 hours ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 1:58:00 PM CDT June 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Bikers Against Child Abuse group met with children to discuss past altercations with abusers in their... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 9:04:00 AM CDT June 24, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Power was restored at approximately 9:00 AM CT Sunday morning for most customers in the affected areas. ... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 8:53:00 AM CDT June 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU has saved money and reduced emissions through its long-term energy efficiency programs. The university has reduced... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 8:20:00 AM CDT June 24, 2018 in Top Stories
ST. LOUIS - An attorney is suing a nonprofit group connected to former Gov. Eric Greitens for its records. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 9:52:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- More than 200 people ran in the Hope for Heroes 5k on Saturday. The fundraising event was a... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 8:40:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Outside a sprawling mall in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, young single men and women walk... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 6:21:17 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - One softball player is setting her team up for success before she leaves for college. On Saturday,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 4:54:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The discussion on community policing continues to ripple through Columbia after a citywide meeting Saturday. The City... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 3:31:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police are investigating the shooting death of a man near a house in... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 3:12:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 75°
11am 77°
12pm 80°
1pm 81°
2pm 84°