In mid-2009, the future looked promising for two of the biggest industries in northwestern Kentucky — the Rio Tinto Alcan and Century Aluminum smelters. They had secured a new long-term contract for the enormous amounts of electricity they need at prices the companies thought could keep them competitive; that power is vital, accounting for one-third of their cost to produce aluminum. Further, power producer Big Rivers Electric Corp. didn't anticipate a need to raise rates until 2016. But after sales of surplus electricity to other power companies came in lower than expected, Big Rivers requested an increase in rates last year.
Raised Rates Threaten Aluminum Smelters
By Chuck Stinnett, The Gleaner • Jan 8, 2012