AES Indiana Wants Customers to Pay Nearly $42 Million for their Broken Power Plant

For nearly one year, AES's Eagle Valley fossil gas-fired power plant sat idle, failing to provide electricity to customers, yet customers continued to pay for the power plant in their monthly bills.


Monopoly electric utility, AES Indiana, wants customers to foot a $42 Million (2.5%) rate increase in their current case before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Cause No. 38703 FAC-133-S1.


Eagle Valley is a 671 megawatt fossil-gas power plant owned and operated by the monopoly electric utility, AES Indiana. The plant cost $701 million, which customers are paying for in their monthly utility bills, along with a healthy profit added in for AES shareholders. AES gets this profit even if Eagle Valley fails to produce electricity. 


Eagle Valley began operations in April 2018. Three years later, in April 2021, the plant broke and stopped producing electricity. It was down for 327 days - nearly a year! It finally came back online in March 2022.


Because Eagle Valley was not producing electricity for almost a full year, AES had to buy power in the marketplace to replace the power Eagle Valley failed to generate. AES is now before the IURC asking to charge customers almost $42 million for that replacement power.


Customers paid for Eagle Valley the entire time the plant failed to produce electricity. Customers should NOT be forced to pay for replacement power on top of what they've already paid. 


Despite evidence to the contrary, AES has touted Eagle Valley as a modern, highly efficient, and cost-effective solution to serve the needs of their customers. The plant is considered a “baseload” power plant, meaning it is supposed to run most of the time and deliver electricity 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


Rather than taking responsibility for Eagle Valley’s breakdown, the monopoly utility is blaming automated control systems installed at the plant. In their testimony, AES made statements like, “Operators are not expected to completely understand the complex engineering logic of these control systems,” to avoid taking responsibility and shift blame away from the company.


Regardless of whether AES or the automated control systems are to blame, one thing is certain: customers are not to blame and should not be forced to pay for this boondoggle.


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Please urge the Office of Utility Consumer Counselor to stand up for ratepayers and demand that customers NOT be forced to pay for power AES Indiana had to buy because their power plant broke down three years into its life. 




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