Cogeneration Plant Proposal Fizzled

Sunday, July 15th 2007, 4:27 pm
By: News On 6

LAWTON, Okla. (AP) _ The president of the Public Service Company of Oklahoma says that if a proposed cogeneration plant in Lawton had been built, it would have cost customers far more than the $35 million the company is paying to scuttle the project.

PSO President Stuart Solomon said that according to his company's calculations, PSO customers would have paid $500 million more for power from the plant during its lifetime that they would if power was obtained from other sources.

``It was extraordinarily and excessively expensive for what they wanted to do,'' Solomon said.

Solomon said PSO didn't need the type of power that the proposed cogeneration plant would have provided.

In April, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission accepted an agreement that effectively killed the cogeneration plant, which would have produced electricity and steam.

``It was that or get $500 million shoved on customers,'' Solomon said.

Under the agreement, PSO will pay $35 million to the facility's developer, Lawton Cogeneration, and then spend up to $135 million to expand the generating capacity at two of its power stations, near Jenks and Anadarko. Both those plants will be fired by natural gas.

PSO and Oklahoma Gas and Electric also are hoping for approval to build a $1.8 billion coal-fired plant near Red Rock.

PSO serves about 520,000 customers in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma.