July 17, 2012-by Ron Regan, News Channel 5, in Cleveland. Editors Note: Valley Watch president, John Blair traveled to Cleveland in 2007 specifically to inform Cleveland’s City Council of the bad deal they were making in buying into both Meigs County and the Prairie State facility. They failed to listen. It should also be noted that there are more than thirty Indiana communities that bought into this plant under the auspices of the Indiana Municipal Power Authority headed by Raj Rao, who now also serves as Chairman of the Prairie State power plant.
A Cleveland councilman says rate payers are “getting hosed” in a $5 billion electric power plant deal that produced zero electricity for months.
Cleveland councilman Mike Polensek raised serious questions about the deal during an extended interview following an exclusive 5 On Your Side investigation into the plant.
The Prairie State Power Plant was scheduled to go online last December, but our investigation found a “failure” in fans removing toxic exhaust gas in March stopped the plant from operating.
Cleveland and 60 other cities across Ohio are partial owners of the plant through the sale of municipal bonds in a deal involving American Municipal Power, a non profit corporation that owns and operates electrical facilities.
Meanwhile, interest on bond payments resulted in Cleveland paying a quarter million dollars a month beginning last March, while the plant produced zero electricity.
The plant began producing electricity last month in Unit 1, but Unit 2 is not expected to be operating until the end of the year.
A complete list of cities and what they were charged can be found on our exclusive interactive map.