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

2 years 11 months 3 days 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 - There's a new member of the Boone County Fire Protection District team, and he's hitting the ground running... More >>
2 days ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 1:22:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
CENTRALIA - Police took a student into custody Friday morning after staff at Centralia High School found a handgun in... More >>
2 days ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 11:16:00 AM CST February 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police confirmed a person died after getting hit by a semi truck on I-70 early Friday. The... More >>
2 days ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 11:08:00 AM CST February 16, 2018 in News
VALLES MINES (AP) — A man suspected of shooting at a suburban St. Louis sheriff's deputy is in... More >>
2 days ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 9:35:35 AM CST February 16, 2018 in News
FORSYTH (AP) — Authorities are fighting a fire that has burned about 500 acres in the Mark Twain National... More >>
2 days ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 9:30:28 AM CST February 16, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Troopers in Missouri say a mother made her reluctant 14-year-old daughter drive, leading to a crash... More >>
2 days ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 9:25:15 AM CST February 16, 2018 in News
MARYLAND HEIGHTS (AP) — Authorities have arrested a man suspected of fatally stabbing another man and a toddler at... More >>
2 days ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 9:15:37 AM CST February 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Officials with the Water and Light department proposed a new generator that would boost the city's renewable energy... More >>
2 days ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 8:19:00 AM CST February 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Three of the four candidates vying for two seats on the Jefferson City Board of Education spoke... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, February 15 2018 Feb 15, 2018 Thursday, February 15, 2018 8:14:00 PM CST February 15, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - The case against suspected arsonist James Hall has been declared a mistrial since the jury could not reach... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, February 15 2018 Feb 15, 2018 Thursday, February 15, 2018 7:17:00 PM CST February 15, 2018 in News
BLUE SPRINGS (AP) — A French automotive technology supplier plans to open a $60 million production facility and bring... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, February 15 2018 Feb 15, 2018 Thursday, February 15, 2018 6:29:35 PM CST February 15, 2018 in News
DE SOTO (AP) — Four firefighters are recovering from non-life threatening injuries suffered while battling a brush fire near... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, February 15 2018 Feb 15, 2018 Thursday, February 15, 2018 6:22:11 PM CST February 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Conversation on gun control is a major topic in the Columbia community and in the Missouri legislature. ... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, February 15 2018 Feb 15, 2018 Thursday, February 15, 2018 5:35:00 PM CST February 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - In its fifth football season in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC), Lincoln will play a total... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, February 15 2018 Feb 15, 2018 Thursday, February 15, 2018 5:29:00 PM CST February 15, 2018 in Sports
COLUMBIA - The closing of two polling sites for the municipal election in April, will have a direct impact on... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, February 15 2018 Feb 15, 2018 Thursday, February 15, 2018 3:36:00 PM CST February 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri drug and treatment courts are looking for $23 million dollars to fulfill needs. The Missouri... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, February 15 2018 Feb 15, 2018 Thursday, February 15, 2018 3:26:00 PM CST February 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Public Defenders Office is requesting increased funding for to help pay for more public defenders. ... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, February 15 2018 Feb 15, 2018 Thursday, February 15, 2018 1:04:00 PM CST February 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri House has passed a bill to make it legal for organizations to provide... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, February 15 2018 Feb 15, 2018 Thursday, February 15, 2018 12:48:00 PM CST February 15, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 54°
3pm 57°
4pm 58°
5pm 56°
6pm 53°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

2:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
1:30p
Big Fish
4:00p
Rules of Engagement
4:30p
Rules of Engagement

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
7:00p
One for the Money
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Family Guy