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Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Price to build AMP-Ohio power station increases

Cost increase will be split among customers in Mercer, Auglaize and Darke counties

By William Kincaid
The estimated price for AMP-Ohio to build a new baseload coal power station that eventually will supply electricity to local municipalities has increased more than 10 percent.
An October feasibility study put construction cost at $3.25 billion for the Meigs County power plant, up from an initial estimate of $2.9 billion.
The primary reason for the increase is inflating commodities such as steel and labor, American Municipal Power of Ohio (AMP-Ohio) representative Kent Carson said on Wednesday.
The online start date of the plant also has been pushed back six months to 2014. Construction is set to begin next year.
AMP-Ohio is a nonprofit corporation that owns and operates electric facilities that provide power to its members. The 1,000-megawatt plant in Meigs County near the Ohio River would help protect its members from the volatile market by reducing the organization's overall dependency on wholesale market purchases, AMP-Ohio's Web site says.
The final cost of the plant is to be split among the 81 AMP-Ohio member communities through their customer bills. Local member communities are Celina, Minster, St. Marys, Mendon, New Bremen, New Knoxville, Versailles and Wapakoneta.
The electricity is slated to cost 21 to 23 percent less than the market price, which includes the cost of constructing the new plant, Carson said.
Carson said the communities involved are collectively poised to save between $1.5-$2 billion during the next 20 years by generating their own electricity, instead of purchasing it on the market. Once completed, the city would own 1.9 percent of the Meigs County plant.
The plant would provide Celina with 19 megawatts of its 46-48 baseload need, according to Celina Safety Service Director Jeff Hazel.
Hazel also said the new plant would give members a long-term power source for at least the next 50 years.
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