By Bruce Henderson
An advocacy group asked the N.C. Utilities Commission on Thursday to reconsider its approval of the Duke Energy-Progress Energy merger, claiming Duke hid plans to spend more than $2 billion in nuclear plant upgrades.
The commission is investigating the abrupt change in chief executives at Duke following the merger. Durham-based NC WARN argues the commission should reopen hearings to examine broader issues that could increase rates for customers.
The group cites reports that Duke plans to spend $2.2 billion on upgrades to four Progress nuclear plants in the Carolinas and Florida over three years.
Duke spokesman Tom Williams said the figures were compiled for planning purposes only and aren’t unusually large capital budgets for plants of their size. Duke typically reports only systemwide capital spending, not by plant.
The commission denied WARN’s request, on similar grounds, to become a formal party to the chief-executive investigation on July 13.