The Oklahoma Corporation Commission voted 2-1 today to officially deny the application for the proposed Red Rock Power Plant.
OG&E Electric Services announced earlier this year they signed an agreement with Red Rock Power Partners to build the plant pending regulatory approval from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. Others signing the agreement included Public Service Company of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority. At the time, OG&E said the 950-megawatt plant would cost $1.8 billion.
Last month, the commission held final deliberations in the proposed Red Rock Coal Plant. During the course of the deliberations, the commissioners decided their final order would effectively deny the preapproval for the project.
According to a statement released by the commission today, Commissioners Jeff Cloud and Jim Roth voted to deny the application that would have allowed the utility companies to pass on costs of the project to the ratepayers before the project would have built.
"Today's Commission orders call on the utilities to stay within various 'customer protection' rules and standards as they pursue any future transactions and activities related to financing and utility properties, assets and investment," said Cloud in a statement.
OG&E announced they along with their partners have terminated the agreement to build and operate the plant. In their decision, OG&E said in a statement, the commissioners acknowledged OG&E and PSO will need more electric generating capacity in the next few years but also asserted that not enough consideration was given to alternative solutions.
"We continue to believe that a jointly owned Red Rock plant represented a unique opportunity for three Oklahoma utilities to maintain a balanced generation portfolio and hold down future energy costs," OGE Energy Corp. Chairman, President and CEO Pete Delaney said in a statement. "Unfortunately, as we said consistently throughout this process, it is not feasible to construct a plant of this size without the Commission's blessing. We will now turn our attention to developing alternative, albeit less attractive baseload generation options."
OG&E also said it estimates its planning costs for the plant ranged between $18 and $20 million which it hopes to recoup by seeking regulatory recovery. - Gazette staff