Big Rivers: Tentative Smelter Agreement in Place
By WestKyStar Staff
HAWESVILLE, KY - A tentative agreement on the framework for providing market-priced power to a western Kentucky smelter has been announced. This is good news for the 650 employees of the smelter, located in Hancock County, because it means they'll be keeping their jobs. But consumers can still expect to see an increase of around 19 per cent in their electric bills come September.
A statement from Big Rivers Corporation Monday said that under the arrangement, the cooperatives will purchase their power, then pass it through to Century at the market price plus additional costs incurred by them. These cooperatives include Jackson Purchase Energy Corporation, located in Paducah; Kenergy, of Henderson; and Meade County RECC, located in Brandenburg. These three groups make up Big Rivers Electric Corporation, which provides electricity to residential and commercial customers in 22 Kentucky counties.
Big Rivers spokesperson Marty Littrell says the arrangement will not affect the current rate proposal from Big Rivers, or the related flow-through rate proposal from Kenergy, which he says was the desire on the part of all those involved- to see that retail rates did not increase anymore than was already expected. Littrell adds that both the Kenergy and Big Rivers proposals are still pending before the Kentucky Public Service Commission.
All parties involved say they intend to move as quickly as possible to finalize an agreement before August 20, when the current power contract expires. Then, customers can expect to see the rate increase in September.