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Batavia stops proposed electricity sale

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 6:38 a.m. CDT

BATAVIA – The city of Batavia is halting the proposed sale of a portion of the power the city receives as part of the Prairie State Energy Campus.

Batavia Public Works Director Gary Holm told aldermen at Tuesday's Batavia City Council meeting that the bids the city received from private firms “were not favorable.” No public entities had expressed interest in purchasing the power, he said.

Holm said the city is “terminating” the proposed sale for the time being. The city had considered selling off some of its power because it doesn’t need as much power as expected because of the economic slowdown.

The Northern Illinois Municipal Power Agency had been working with Batavia on the proposed sale. Batavia and Geneva belong to NIMPA, which is an energy consortium that is part-owner of the downstate Prairie State project.

In 2007, when Batavia approved buying power from the plant, it was projected that Batavia’s electrical system would experience significant growth. In early 2011, the city retained Pace Global Energy Services to re-examine its overall energy portfolio strategy. Pace recommended the city explore diversification.

Batavia’s share in the Prairie State campus is 55 megawatts. The city looked to sell up to 50 megawatts of power in five-megawatt blocks.

Last August, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis issued a report criticizing the Prairie State Energy Campus with charging more for power than promised. Geneva and St. Charles also are invested in the project.

Holm had said the report had nothing to do with the city’s decision.

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