Duke Energy Edwardsport IGCC Plant

Duke Energy Edwardsport IGCC Plant: Deeper Down the Rabbit Hole

Since 2006, Duke has been planning and building one of the most expensive coal plants in US history, and they want us to pay for it.

However, their gross mismanagement of the Edwardsport, IN project resulted in huge cost overruns, while behind the scenes Duke was schmoozing and hiring the people who are supposed to regulate them.

What has resulted is an ethics scandal that has brought down several Duke employees, as well as the Chairman of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, and the question of who will be left holding the skyrocketing bill: Duke Energy or us?

The now $3.55 billion Edwardsport Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) coal-fired power plant has been shrouded in controversy since Duke Energy first filed for approval before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) in 2006.  

On December 27, 2012, the Commission approved a Settlement agreement between Duke Energy and the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) that effectively closes the case on the ethics scandal and forces ratepayers to pay the price for an illegitimate power plant that never should have been approved to begin with!  The battle is not over though.  CAC, Sierra Club, Save the Valley, and Valley Watch have appealed the Settlement approved by the IURC in 2012, and that case is now going to the Indiana Court of Appeals.  

Additionally, every time Duke Energy files to recover more money through their construction work in progress (CWIP) tracker, CAC and its allies will intervene in those cases before the IURC and continue to argue that Duke ratepayers should not have to pay for this plant.

On September 8, 2014, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that state utility regulators wrongly approved $61 million in rate increases for Duke Energy's Edwardsport coal gasification plant. CAC has been arguing from the beginning of this fiasco that regulators are "rubber stamping" rate increases for this boondoggle and ignoring all of the evidence. Finally, the courts agreed with us.

The Court sent the case back to the Commission, ordering them to review the evidence and justify or deny the rate increase based on the facts presented to them.  Essentially, the Courts told the Commission to do their job.

We are expecting Duke to appeal the Court’s decision, so this isn’t over by a long shot.  But rest assured, CAC will respond to anything Duke files and we’ll continue fighting every step of the way.

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