N.C. WARN wants federal regulators to determine whether Duke Energy’sresistance to purchasing reserve power from other Southeastern utilities is costing customers billions of dollars for unnecessary plant construction.
North Carolina utility watchdog group NC WARN filed a complaint Tuesday with federal regulators alleging that Duke Energy wrongfully charges its customers for new power plants while operating with exorbitant reserves.
Duke Energy, others manipulate electricity markets, waste billions of customer dollars as power plants sit idle while more are being built, says watchdog group
NC WARN Executive Director Jim Warren says the ad accuses Duke of telling “fish stories” about its support for solar. Warren says solar developers told regulators this summer that changes in state solar rules proposed by Duke and other utilities made would strangle the industry.
State legislators, apparently waking from a long winter’s nap, are introducing measures that would crack down on big power companies like Duke Energy Florida that are relentlessly gouging ratepayers.
In 2014, Duke’s delivered little but calamity, especially in Florida, where customers serve as company punching bags. But even in its home state of North Carolina, Duke fumbled. Now it’s busy downplaying a horrible environmental spill of its own making. A toxic sludge of 39,000 tons of arsenic-laced coal ash and 27,000 gallons of contaminated water now coats nearly 70 miles of the once-scenic Dan River.
Duke’s solar announcement today is a good step. But it’s the ONLY step Duke plans to make toward renewables for its Carolinas customers – according to its newly filed long-range plans – over the next 15 years. Meanwhile, Duke is actively working to stifle the growth of large-scale and rooftop solar in NC – in the ongoing case at the Utilities Commission.
Duke Energy is making a $500 million commitment to a major expansion of solar power in North Carolina. The company will acquire and construct three solar facilities — totaling 128 megawatts of capacity. Duke also signed power-purchase agreements for five new solar projects in the state, representing 150 megawatts of capacity.
Attorney General Roy Copper’s office along with the environmental group North Carolina Waste Awareness and Reduction Network, or NC WARN say Duke is charging homeowners too much, and super consumers like server farms and factories too little.
The NC Supreme Court is hearing two Duke Energy rate cases Monday beginning at 9:30 am. NC WARN and Attorney General Roy Cooper appealed the Utilities Commission’s order in both cases granting the rate increases.
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