The cost keeps going up. What this means for me is a 19% rate increase down the line. If the next coal plant can be made cheaper then I am kind of okay with this. Why would I be okay with a coal power plant? Because I know renewable energies dirty little secret. For every kilowatt of renewable energy attached to the grid you need a kilowatt to back it up. That backup is going to come, most likely, from a fossil fuel. i.e. Coal. Now, to me, clean coal is an oxymoron. But, a coal gasification process is far superior to others. Here is a quote from the Duke Energy website.

The current 160-megawatt plant at Edwardsport emits approximately 13,000 tons of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions annually. It operates about 30 percent of the time. Preliminary data indicates a 630-megawatt IGCC plant operating 100 percent of the time will emit about 2,900 tons of those same pollutants (including mercury) annually.

Anyway you slice it, this plant will be far superior to the existing facility. It also use ten less water then the current plant too. Besides solar panels , wind turbines, or any other renewable energy source we need “clean coal”. Even if the new plant get deligated to backup duty in fifty years. We can’t continue to run the oldest plants that have almost no pollution controls on them any longer. The current edwardsport coal facility was built in the 1940’s.

What about conservation! I am all about conservation. I think if Duke gave everyone a smart meter they would not need to build this new plant. Not today anyway. But they would still have to build it someday, because conservation only goes so far.

I would like to see rates go up. Not because I like to pay more but because I want people to use less. Same thing goes for gasoline prices. Energy is too cheap in the USA.