COLUMBIA, MO —”As early as 2004, the report says, energy companies and regulators should have known that the cost of operating a coal-fired plant was becoming steadily more expensive. The report says it is unclear whether Peabody fully and accurately revealed the risk of rising costs. It cites several specific projects to build coal-fired plants that saw sharp spikes in construction costs.
Estimates for how much investors could lose are based on the presumption that Prairie State will be operating at 85 percent capacity — a presumption the report says is unlikely given the amount of problems the plant has had in going online.
Tom Sanzillo, director of finance for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis and an author of the report, said yesterday in a conference call with reporters that Prairie State is a ‘financial burden’ for local governments and utility customers.
‘Communities will not make money from Prairie State,’ Sanzillo said. ‘They will lose money.’”
— Andrew Denney, Columbia Daily Tribune