Sierra Club Report: CWLP Customers Paying More For Power

Sep 22, 2017

Producing electricity at Springfield’s coal-fired power plant instead of buying it on the wholesale market cost customers $261 million over the last nine years, according to an analysis commissioned by the local chapter of the Sierra Club.

The analysis showed that the city-owned utility, City Water, Light and Power, would have been better off buying power from the grid instead of producing it, said Tommy Vitolo, a senior associate with Cambridge-based Synapse Energy Economics, Inc., and the report’s author.

The report, which was released this week, adds to public health and environmental concerns about the plant, said Sierra Club campaign representative Andy Knott. He hopes the city will move quickly to retire the utility’s two oldest coal-fired generators, Dallman 31 and 32, and develop a long-range plan.

Mayor Jim Langfelder said the utility is studying options to decommission the generators built in 1968 and 1972, respectively. He emphasized that CWLP is in better financial condition than it has been in years after the city restructured rates and renegotiated its contract to purchase coal.

The report is available on the Synapse’s website