While City Water Light and Power is still trying to stabilize its finances, some Springfield aldermen are still complaining about the controversial wind power contract that the utility agreed to as part of its construction of a new power plant.
The wind power deal averted a possible Sierra Club challenge to construction of the plant, but aldermen say it’s too costly given C-W-L-P’s financial problems.
The utility’s electric fund ended the last fiscal year six-million-dollars in the red.
CWLP says the wind power deal is still cheaper than a drawn-out challenge to the power plant would have been.
In a report to aldermen Tuesday, Springfield’s utility says it is borrowing $4 million to help pay its bills and could owe The Federal Emergency Management Agency $800,000 for the tornado damage suffered six years ago.
During a financial presentation to the city, the first of what will be monthly presentations, CWLP Chief Engineer Eric Hobbie says the city is also taking a hit from wind power but can’t back out of a contract for that power option for another 3 ½ years.
Some aldermen argued about the wind power contracts saying it is costing the city tens of millions of dollars.
Hobbie also says that the utility has notified the market of a technical default because the on it’s debt coverage ratio and that Standard’s and Poor’s will begin a review of the bond rating.