Who will pay for cost overruns at power plant?

Critics say customers shouldn't foot bill

Published On: Oct 01 2012 07:16:04 AM CDT

Critics say We Energies customers shouldn't foot the bill for cost overruns at the $2 billion Oak Creek power plant, one of the state's largest construction projects.

The extra $177 million was tacked on to the cost of the plant because of legal fees resulting from opposition before the plant was built and because of a dispute with a contractor during construction.

The state Public Service Commission will eventually decide whether those costs should be passed on to ratepayers.

We Energies said extreme weather conditions also played a role in cost overruns, because construction stalled.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported PSC staff said commissioners might want to cap the amount of We Energies' legal fees based on the high rates charged by lawyers, some which exceeded $700 an hour.