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CPS’s nuke plant price tag to be shared next month


Raising the bar on energy savings, CPS's Bartley addresses his masters.


Greg Harman
gharman@sacurrent.com

Nothing to see/hear. Move along.

In terms of fireworks, the public hearing over City-owned CPS Energy’s proposal to tackle a ream of conservation measures by raising energy rates a nearly imperceptible amount (plug in one CFL bulb and you’ll never see the bump, said the utility’s new sustainability officer) provided little theater.

[Details on the proposal, which will get a vote next Thursday, are over here.]

Now while several who had signed up to speak apparently had to leave prior to the 4 p.m. hearing, all the public comments made during yesterday’s public hearing were positive. The 46 letters sent in were as well. Barring Clamp, the council had few questions.

One rep from a local solar company lamented his loss of several employees and an estimated $2.1 million in business thanks to CPS Energy’s failure to keep its solar rebate program funded.

He got a heartfelt-sounding apology from Mayor Phil Hardberger. The CPS reps holding down the front row didn’t fall to their knees, however.

Still, some interesting tidbits.

Several councilmembers asked when CPS would have some firm-ish numbers about the anticipated costs for the proposed doubling of the nuke complex at Bay City, the South Texas Project.

The answer is June 18, according to CPS acting General Manager Steve Bartley. (And we can expect a rate increase discussion, based upon the nuclear decision this fall, in the spring, he suggested. And the utility then will be coming back “a little more often than every other year” for more after that.)

The most recent nuke-cost projection comes from the green camp, where we hear the project could come in as high as $22 billion.


A little unsolicited advice for CPS and COSA: Public hearings on the most-likely coming round of rate-hike hearings for new nuclear power must be accessible. Making people skip work and wait around all day in the council chamber wondering when the discussion will begin doesn’t qualify. I’m not the only one who notices this stuff. I’m thinking you’ll hear more on that soon enough.


Posted by gharman on 5/15/2009 1:30:32 PM
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