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PSC green lights Evergy, Nucor rate contract for Sedalia steel mill

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a special incremental load rate contract between Evergy Missouri West and Nucor regarding a new steel mill in Sedalia. 

The mill, which is expected to be operational in 2020, will bring about 250 new “highly-skilled and well-paying jobs” to the Sedalia area, PSC Chairman Ryan Silvey said Wednesday. Evergy has estimated those jobs will have an average annual wage of more than $65,000 — twice the Pettis County average. 

Additionally, the Nucor facility will become Evergy Missouri West’s largest energy user under its 10-year fixed-rate contract, Silvey said during the weekly agenda meeting. 

“This is a large economic boom for Sedalia and the area,” Commissioner Bill Kenney said.

According to a brief Evergy filed earlier this month, Nucor is investing approximately $250 million in building the steel bar micro mill in Sedalia. And winning the steel production company to Missouri was a joint effort, which included the Governor’s Office, various departments, Union Pacific Railroad, and more. 

“The ability of Missouri and Sedalia to win the project over the competition from multiple other aggressive states exemplifies the public-private partnership approach to economic development taken in Missouri,” the brief said. “This success is expected to have ripple effects for other projects considering locations in the state.” 

(Evergy was formed through the Kansas City Power & Light and Westar Energy merger.)

Additionally Wednesday, the PSC unanimously approved two orders related to Spire Missouri’s actual cost adjustments (ACA). One order tackled its 2015 and 2016 ACA balance; the other order was for 2016 and 2017. Neither stipulated a monetary adjustment was needed. 

The PSC approved Empire District Electric Company’s request for authority to implement rate adjustments related to its fuel adjustment clause. The company had said its actual energy costs from March to August 2019 was lower than what was collected in the recovery period. 

The commission said residential customers who use about 1,000 kilowatts per month should see a $5 decrease with the new fuel adjustment clause. 

Commissioners approved a proposed amendment to its rules related to natural gas safety at the agenda meeting Wednesday as well. 

“These rule changes are needed to maintain certification and funding to Missouri’s pipeline safety program,” Silvey said. 

The PSC’s next agenda meeting is scheduled for Nov. 21 at 10:30 a.m.