EPA ruling could affect ElDo electricity rates

Posted July 3, 2014 at 3:53 pm

The EPA’s proposal for new carbon emission regulations will likely have an affect on energy costs in the El Dorado Springs area.

The Sun asked El Dorado Springs City Manager Bruce Rogers and Sac Osage General Manager Jim Davis about possible rate increases.

Rogers – Well, I think it is possible that it can affect us. The pool we buy from has power plants that are already up to EPA standards. However, if some of the plants are down for a maintenance cycle then obviously we have to buy from somewhere else. Perhaps in the peak summertime, the pool will be forced by buy from some of these other sources. They do buy from natural gas, and a small portion from wind and solar. There is the possibility that our cost would be affected and it would be passed on to our consumers.

Davis – Obviously any regulation designed to eliminate or reduce coal fired power plants will have an effect on us. Eighty percent of the generation provided by Associated Electric comes from coal. Associated has spent millions to eliminate pollution in their power plants for a number of years. They have contractual agreement with a firm to buy wind energy. They also use natural gas fuel peaking turbines. And they have what’s called a combined cycle plant that takes exhausts from turbines and reuses the heat. I’m sure the rates will change. When and how much is opinion, right now. I’ve heard upwards of 80%. We’ll talk about that Tuesday night (at the Sac Osage Annual meeting).