Cost of IGCC in GRHR

January 4th, 2007


Translation: Cost of Excelsior Energy‘s Mesaba coal gasification plant (IGCC) in the Grand Rapids Herald Review. And as you can see, that dollar sign seems a little shaky to me…

Cost of Mesaba Project: $2,155,680,783
Wednesday, January 03rd, 2007 11:45:13 AM


As the attorney representing landowners directly affected by Excelsiorâ??s Mesaba Project, Iâ??m writing the brief in the PUC Power Purchase Agreement docket. Iâ??m repeatedly struck by how difficult itâ??s been to get information, particularly the basic cost. Itâ??s $2,155,860,783! In a cost docket, what could be more important than project cost?

Just a couple weeks ago, many papers across the state published an Associated Press article that claimed the price was $1.2 billion, as did an independently written article in a local paper. Why? The DOE has reports of the $2,155,680,783 cost dating back to May, 2006.

Excelsior has an obligation to update its Petition and filings as information becomes available, yet they didnâ??t correct the cost. Xcel fought to have Excelsiorâ??s DOE filings released, but Excelsior resisted and the judge ruled it would remain undisclosed. Why? Thankfully, due to a Freedom of Information Act request by my clients, the basic cost of the Mesaba Project is now public information and is in the record. Without them, we wouldnâ??t know.

Iâ??ve an urge to file a Motion to mandate that all the testimony and information requests and responses and cost analyses based on Excelsiorâ??s misinformation be brought to the Virginia biomass plant for fuel. That project, with an $80 million price tag has created 70 jobs. Letâ??s support reasonable projects like the Virginia biomass, and give Excelsiorâ??s Mesaba Project filings the treatment they deserve â?? a warm reception at the biomass plant furnace!

$2,155,680,783 — remember that number!

Carol A. Overland
Attorney for, Intervenor at PUC

So maybe, just maybe, the outrageous cost of this thing will become public?

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