The city of Great Falls’ electric utility arm, Electric City Power, may be required to cough up a fine of $23,260, the state Public Service Commission ruled last week.
Electric City Power was supposed to obtain renewable energy credits equal to at least 5 percent of its power portfolio for 2008, but failed to so do, the PSC ruled..
The city asked the PSC to grant a waiver, but the state commission refused.
Coleen Balzarini, executive director of Electric City Power, said she expects the City Commission and power board to discuss the matter. But she said the difference between buying the extra renewable energy credits for 2008 or accepting the fine is less than $6,000. The costs of legal fees to appeal the issue will also be an issue, she said.
The city will comply in 2009 after purchasing renewable energy credits and using its sewage treatment plant to generate power, Balzarini said.
One city critic, Travis Kavulla, contended Monday that the PSC moves “bring into question whether the city really possesses the requisite experience and knowledge to run a power company in the 21st century.” Richard Liebert, chairman of Citizens for Clean Energy, said city officials should “keep their eye on the ball.”
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