OG&E seeking rate increase, while remaining among lowest in country

OG&E seeking rate increase, while remaining among lowest in country{ }(Photo provided)

Oklahoma Gas and Electric has requested to increase customers' rates to recover $609 million in emissions-reducing investments at two state power plants.

OG&E has invested about $534 million in the Sooner Power Plant and about $75 million in the Muskogee Power Plant. They are doing this to comply with the federal Regional Haze Rule, which requires OG&E to install emissions-reducing scrubbers on the two coal-fired units at Sooner and convert two units from coal to natural gas at Muskogee.

"The first Sooner scrubber is online and the second is scheduled to go into service in January 2019," said OG&E spokesman Brian Alford. "It's important to note that this project is on schedule and approximately $80 million under budget. Similarly, the Muskogee conversion is scheduled to go online in January 2019, also on time and under budget."

The company is looking to increase the rate by approximately $7.60 per month for the average residential customer.

"While taking these actions at Sooner and Muskogee, we have maintained customer rates that are among the lowest in the country, at 31% below the national average, and within one-half of a percent of our 2014 rates, when these projects began," said Alford. "Due in large part to the actions we've taken at these facilities, overall plant emissions are expected to be significantly lower from 2005 levels. Beginning in 2019, sulfur dioxide emissions are expected to be lower by nearly 90 percent, nitrogen oxide to be lower by nearly 75 percent and carbon dioxide to be lower by approximately 40 percent."