Grand Gulf Report Card for Affordable and Reliable Electricity – F | Mississippi Politics and News
Submitted by Bigger Pie Forum
When it comes to living essentials, affordable and reliable electricity would be near the top of most people’s list. Mississippi could have more affordable and reliable electricity if utility monopolies cared more about their customers than their shareholders. Concrete example – the Grand Gulf nuclear power plant.
Entergy’s customers in Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas pay for the Grand Gulf nuclear power plant in Port Gibson and receive most of the electricity it produces, when operational. Ranked the least performing nuclear power plant in the United States, Grand Gulf had a capacity factor of 72% in 2020, compared to the nuclear industry average of 94%.
When Grand Gulf is offline, Entergy must purchase electricity from other entities, which is more expensive than generating it in Grand Gulf. This additional cost is passed on to its customers, who are also billed for Grand Gulf’s ongoing fixed costs even when it is inactive.
Last July, Moody’s lowered the financial outlook for the Entergy subsidiary which owns Grand Gulf from stable to negative due to legal challenges the company is facing. This means higher interest charges for Grand Gulf which will be passed on to its customers. (Grand Gulf is owned by Subsidiary-Systems Energy Resources, Inc. or SERI)
Legal challenges involve both federal and state regulators. First, a federal administrative law judge ordered Entergy to reimburse more than $ 500 million to its clients over a sale-leaseback complaint filed by state regulators in Mississippi, Louisiana, and service commissions. Arkansas public. A majority of federal commissioners must first approve the judge’s order for reimbursement.
A second complaint filed with federal regulators by states claims excessive costs and damages exceeding $ 360 million paid by customers for reckless Grand Gulf operations from 2012 to 2020. State regulators have also called for an investigation into the caution of Grand Gulf’s $ 800 million expansion initiated in 2012.
Grand Gulf receives a fail grade if the goal is affordable and reliable electricity for its customers. This is supposed to be the goal of the civil service commission which regulates the monopoly of public services. This structure seems to be able to be improved as evidenced by these legal complaints. It seems that a proactive structure instead of a reactive structure would better serve the interests of clients.
In some states, a consumer advocate with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the energy industry oversees the interests of customers. If Mississippi had a consumer advocate, how more affordable and reliable would your electricity be?
Submitted by Bigger Pie Forum – Promoting Market-Driven Economic Growth for a Bigger, Brighter Mississippi. Learn more about BPF here.