Power debate in BG still charged PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK, Sentinel City Editor   
Thursday, 05 June 2014 09:04
Concerns about the city's electrical contract with an Illinois power facility remained energized Monday night.
Lisa Kochheiser, a member of the local group Citizens for a Livable Future, rose at the meeting and made note of a recent incident at the Prairie State Energy Campus in southern Illinois which damaged the plant.
A press release issued on May 28 by the campus addressed the May 24 incident, saying that "a water storage tank overflowed resulting in an unexpectedly high release of steam and water that damaged the siding and associated equipment. All employees and workers on site are safe. No explosion, fire or injuries occurred." Damage was reportedly not done to the turbine generator or boiler.
A piece on the website of the Columbia Daily Tribune in Missouri concerning the incident said that "a rupture disk for a pressure release system blew off and knocked a large hole in an exterior wall."
Members of Citizens for a Livable Future have consistently voiced concerns about the Prairie State campus, with whom Bowling Green has a nearly 50-year contract through American Municipal Power, at recent meetings, saying that the contract could cost power customers $48 to $54 million more over the next seven years. They have also voiced other concerns, among them that AMP may have had a conflict of interest in the matter because the city engaged a consultant also used by AMP.
Kochheiser, saying that an AMP lawyer recently told one individual they would no longer answer their questions, posed a series of queries to Utilities Director Brian O'Connell, specifically asking if ratepayers will be asked to pay for the damage to the facility; if so, what the projected costs might be; and how long it will be before the plant is running at what she termed its promised 85-percent capacity.
"I trust that when Mr. O'Connell asks these questions (of AMP), he won't be subjected to the same kind of disrespect the ratepayers receive," she said.

Last Updated on Friday, 06 June 2014 10:27

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