Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OG&E, PSO Shocked by Okla. Corp. Commission's Plans to Reject Power Plant

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OG&E, PSO Shocked by Okla. Corp. Commission's Plans to Reject Power Plant

Article excerpt

Energy companies that planned on building a coal-fired power plant near Red Rock were taken aback by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission's plans to reject the application for the facility.

Proponents said rate payers will foot the bill for the commission's decision.

But one of the major opponents of the plant said the state came out a winner.

The commission's decision to reject the application for the plant drew the ire, as well as shock, of Oklahoma Gas and Electric and American Electric's Public Service Company of Oklahoma, which teamed with the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority for plans to constructed the estimated $1.8 billion plant about 80 miles north of Oklahoma City.

PSO spokeswoman Andrea Chancellor said the commission's actions were unexpected.

"We are very disappointed and this is not good news for customers," Chancellor said. "We made a strong case for helping us keep our customers' costs low. Right now we will take a look at what we heard in the verbal order and wait and see what the written order indicates. We have to rethink our options. Right now until we see if it's a done deal we'll get with our partners (OG&E and Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority) to decide if we will go forward."

Chancellor said various sources of energy are important to a company such as PSO.

"It would seem that if coal is not part of PSO, we will have a non-balanced portfolio that leans heavily on natural gas," she said. "If we would have had only natural gas over the years, the customers would've paid $1.7 billion more in fuel costs."

OG&E spokesman Brian Alford echoed some of Chancellor's thoughts.

"We are disappointed for our customers - they'll be the ones that will ultimately pay more in the future," Alford said. "We are disappointed they won't be able to enjoy the savings. We believe Red Rock was the best least-cost option. …

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