Friday, October 1, 2021

Bigger Pie Forum: Grand Gulf Report Card for Affordable and Reliable Electricity — F

 When it comes down to the essentials for living, affordable and reliable electricity would be close to the top of most people’s list. Mississippi could have more affordable and more reliable electricity if the utility monopolies were more concerned for their customers rather than their shareholders. Case in point – the Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Plant.

Entergy customers in Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas pay for the Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Plant in Port Gibson and receive most of the power it produces — when it’s operational. Rated the worst performing nuclear plant in the U.S., Grand Gulf had a capability factor of 72 percent in 2020, compared to the nuclear industry average of 94 percent.

When Grand Gulf is offline, Entergy must buy power from other entities, which is more expensive than producing it at Grand Gulf. This additional cost is passed along to its customers, who are also charged for the ongoing, fixed costs of Grand Gulf even when it sits idle.

This past July, Moody’s downgraded the financial outlook for the Entergy subsidiary which owns Grand Gulf from stable to negative because of legal challenges the company is facing. This means higher interest costs to Grand Gulf that will be passed on to its customers. (Grand Gulf is owned by Subsidiary-Systems Energy Resources, Inc. or SERI)

The legal challenges involve both federal and state level regulators. First, A federal administrative law judge has ordered Entergy to refund over $500 million to its customers because of a sale-leaseback complaint filed by state regulators of Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas’ public service commissions. A majority of federal commissioners must first approve the judge’s order for the refund.

A second complaint filed with federal regulators by the states claims excessive costs and damages exceeding $360 million paid by customers for imprudent operations of Grand Gulf from 2012-2020. State regulators have also requested an investigation of the prudency of Grand Gulf’s $800 million expansion initiated in 2012.

Grand Gulf receives a failing grade if affordable and reliable electricity for its customers is the goal. It’s supposed to be the goal of the public service commission who regulates the utility monopoly. This structure seems to have room for improvement as evidenced by these legal complaints. Seems a proactive structure in place of a reactive one would better serve the customers’ interests.

In some states, a consumer advocate having extensive knowledge and understanding of the energy industry is watching out for the customers’ interests. If Mississippi had a consumer advocate, how much more affordable and more reliable would your electricity be?

Bigger Pie Forum authored and sponsored this post. 


Anonymous said...

Every person i've ever met that work down there as ENG and scientist deserved to be laughed at . Ooooooo, I work at GG, the worst Nuc plant on the planet. Oooooooo, look at me bringing down 200 a year to thumb my ass.

Sparky said...

The poster child for Mississippi's corruption and incompetence.

Anonymous said...

Damn. Bigger Pie left off the last sentence of their rant. "If only Entergy would purchase more of the natural gas that us Bigger Pie folks have invested in, then everything having to do with Entergy, the Public Service Commission - its members and the structure itself - and our pocketbooks would be fine."

Anonymous said...

The country needs to replace nearly all of our LWRs with Sodium Graphite and Breeder reactors. And the sooner we start, the better.

Anonymous said...

"Mississippi could have more affordable and more reliable electricity if the utility monopolies were more concerned for their customers rather than their shareholders." Hush yo mouth.

Anonymous said...

Well, everyone has called it "Grand Goof" for years so no surprise here. Entergy is embarrassed these days after its rusty high tension towers fell down during Hurricane Ida. Guess we'll buy another solar panel to supplement the two we already have.

Where do I sign up to get my rebate/money damages from Entergy? I've been a customer for nearly 30 years and my house is all-electric so I expect a sizeable refund from them.

Anonymous said...

Just remember, the NRC and a shitload of other government agencies dictate every nut and bolt at Grand Gulf. Plus, the unions have had a stranglehold on that facility from the very beginning.

Labor unions, government bureaucracy and a complex machine all spell problems for any facility of this magnitude.

If you're all that pissed off at Entergy, go get you some solar panels and a windmill.

Anonymous said...

9:39 : Natural Gas is up almost triple isn't it ? Just curious.

Anonymous said...

Just looked it up. Average electricity rate in US as of December 2020 was 13.19 cents per Killowatt hour. My last bill from Entergy was 9 cents per killowatt hour. Energy cost overall are higher today than December 2020. Appears Entergy is doing a pretty good job.

Anonymous said...

Despite the fact that there is no public advocate looking out for rate payer interests, and despite the fact that the PSC is a paper tiger that rubber stamps rate increases, there are others out there who are taking matters into their own hands. Entergy is finding out that there are others asking questions, requesting documents, reviewing submissions (even submissions that have been cloaked in secrecy with fallacious arguments to keep them "secret"). Grand Gulf holds lots of juicy secrets. People are snooping around.

Anonymous said...

The ignorance is heavy on this thread

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the NRC shut Grand Gulf down in 2016 for 6 months. About melted it down. Still having issues with the increased radiation from the cracked fuel rods.

Anonymous said...

Forgotten is the promise that if Grand Gulf was approved, once paid for, Mississippians would have nearly " free" electricity" as so much would be " generated" to be " sold" to other States, that Mississippians reap the " reward" of their investment.

Shareholders didn't pay for Grand Gulf, we did.

Anonymous said...

Left out is any mention of all of the "no show" jobs there.

Anonymous said...

Homer Simpson would fit in fine with the culture at that facility..

Anonymous said...

Bolte is licking his chops for Grand Gulf to go under so he can snatch it up at a fire sale price.

Anonymous said...

Any way to see the names of the stockholders?

Anonymous said...

I used to market residential natural gas years ago. I would show how much electricity cost (about 9 cents a kWh) and compare it to affordable natural gas. It was no wonder entergy paid homebuilders $500 to build an all electric home.

Anonymous said...

11:53 - provide documentation, please.

Sounds like all those folks that claim that casino revenue was dedicated to education. Never was done, but people who like to bitch about the current state of government make this shit up all the time.

Don't know if you were an alive, adult in the 1970's, but I was, and I never heard anything about 'free' electricity from Grand Gulf. And if I had, I wouldn't have believed it because markets don't work that way.

In fact, for the first seven or eight years, electricity was more expensive after the startup of GG. Rates then started coming down, and despite the Bigger Pie arguments, we still have cheaper electricity in Mississippi's Entergy area than most of the country. I'm sure that's due to a number of factors, but would include the GG operation as a contributor.

MeNot KNOWNas said...

Ima looking for my $5.38 refund check for having spent $17,837 over the past 10 years paying Entergy.

Anonymous said...

I'm 11:53. Documentation is I work there. Didn't advertise NRC shutdown. It most definitely happened though. 20% reactor power swings during a turbine test. Grid operators in New England could see the power swings.

Anonymous said...

5:37, we hope you're enjoying your retirement check from Entergy.

Anonymous said...

1.21 stockholders of ETR are via funds and some direct sales most large and small investors. If you have a IRA or 401k invested in the market you are probably a stockholder. Do not assume some grand scheme exists, rather easy to see rapid degradation in large organization, while planning for improvement as the Afghan on going mess reminds me. All new leadership of nuclecar in this time period, tribal lifetimes of engineering and operation knowledge (stuff in people's heads) not everything gone.

Anonymous said...

It could be worse. Remember the Kemper County lignite gasification generator plant fiasco?

"The plant was supposed to be in service by May 2014, at a cost of $2.4 billion. As of June 2017, the project was still not in service, and the cost had increased to $7.5 billion. According to a Sierra Club analysis, Kemper is the most expensive power plant ever built, based on its generating capacity. In June 2017, Southern Company and Mississippi Power announced that the Kemper project would switch to burning only natural gas in an effort to manage costs."

Anonymous said...

1021 - great guess. But wrong. Thanks for playing though. Tip the bartender on your way out

Never worked for Entergy. Don't know but a few people that do or have. Been an Entergy residential customer for half my life, plus for a few years paid a six to eight thousand dollar a month bill at a business account.

Just someone that pays attention, checks facts, and have a damn good memory.

Remember, tip the bartender, and come back and try again later. Certainly you can't be wrong everytime.

Anonymous said...

"A majority of federal commissioners must first approve the judge’s order for the refund." HUH? That sounds a bit odd.

Speaking of 'making shit up', 5:37, you bald-face made THIS UP: "Sounds like all those folks that claim that casino revenue was dedicated to education." Show us any documentation from ANYbody claiming casino money would be 'dedicated to education'. You can't. No legislator claimed that. No publisher claimed that. No mayor, governor nor educator claimed that. No preacher, boot-black nor candlestick maker claimed that.

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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