Officials say the potential rate increase is due in large part to Century Aluminum in Hawesville announcing last August the company would stop purchasing power from Big Rivers.
That loss in revenue could top $200 million, according to officials.
In order to make up for the lost revenue, they will raise rates, and they will look at a number of possible cuts, including job reductions and potential liquidation of some assets.
When asked if the rate increase would be fair to rural and residential customers, Kenergy President and CEO Greg Starheim says it's the unfortunate reality of running a non-profit electric co-op.
Kenergy and Big Rivers could offset some of the costs by helping to bring in large industrial members via economic development. Securing a large enough company, however, would prove difficult. Starheim says the two companies are actively and aggressively pursuing economic development opportunities.
The rate increase, if approved by the Kentucky Public Service Commission, could have a devastating economic for the region. Alcan Primary Metals in Robards, KY., is a huge customer for Big Rivers and Kenergy. Officials say Alcan executives expressed 'grave concern' over the potential impact of the rate increase.
We'll continue to follow this story.