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

2 years 8 months 3 weeks 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
COLUMBIA -It's a topic that many people shy away from, but one man came to Columbia to talk about suicide.... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 8:25:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Terron Wings says he considers himself blessed he can now call himself an “American taxpayer.” Wings, 37,... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:27:27 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Board of Education voted to approved ballot language for a $30 million bond issue Monday night... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:01:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – High winds and dry conditions warranted additional safety precautions for fire safety Monday in central Missouri. The... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 6:04:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
RENICK – The Beamer family was on the porch of their Randolph County home at the beginning of the storm... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 5:21:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
ROCHEPORT - Consolidated Water issued a boil order advisory for parts of Howard County Monday due to a water main... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 4:29:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
ORONOGO (AP) — Homeowners living near a gun range in southwest Missouri are concerned about stray bullets that have been... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 3:32:30 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - When someone goes to the doctor for a checkup, they might expect the regular look at their eyes,... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 3:15:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's attorney general is weighing whether to appoint a special investigator to check into use of... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 2:45:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - One MU Nursing School program has reduced the number of nursing home patients from hospitalization by nearly 50... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 2:24:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- The Missouri Attorney General's office is forming an advisory board to develop the first statewide program in Missouri that... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 12:22:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The city plans to begin repairing base failures in the Thornbrook Subdivision beginning Dec. 11 at 8 a.m.... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 11:34:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Missouri state representative has filed more legislation which would redefine "marriage" as a "contract of domestic... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 11:22:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Monday is the final day to donate to Columbia Parks and Recreation’s Almeta Crayton Memorial Toy Drive. ... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 10:58:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says he wants his five new appointees to the state veterans... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 10:50:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - UPDATE: 1:44 P.M. A police officer confirmed white paint footprints are related to Monday's investigation. The police officer... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:34:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Nearly four years ago to the day, local business owner Linda Bonebrake was diagnosed with severe sepsis at... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 6:47:00 PM CST December 10, 2017 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - Bird lovers got an up close look at birds typically seen in their backyards Sunday. It... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 5:36:00 PM CST December 10, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 38°
1am 35°
2am 32°
3am 31°
4am 29°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

12:37a
Last Call with Carson Daly
1:07a
Inside Edition
1:37a
Paid Program
12:30a
Cops
1:00a
Top 30
1:30a
Page Six TV

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
8:00p
Gwen Stefani's You Make It Feel Like Christmas
9:00p
Chicago Med
7:00p
Greatest Holiday Commercials Countdown 2017
8:00p
The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld