Duke Energy, other monopoly utilities keep building power plants, raising rates instead of sharing regional supply as federal regulators have urged
NC WARN has called on federal regulators to reconsider their decision not to investigate the costs and benefits of a regional strategy to share electricity supply. In denying our call for investigation on April 30, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ignored Duke Energy’s misrepresentation of NC WARN’s factual and legal position.
NC WARN clearly provided enough evidence to show an investigation is needed. In fact, neither FERC nor Duke Energy contested the federal data we supplied – which shows gross overcapacity across the region for years to come.
Our request for reconsideration is a step needed to preserve further options in this case.
Despite huge amounts of excess generation capacity on hand now and for decades to come – and dozens of large power plants sitting idle most of the year – protected monopoly utilities across the southeast keep building more plants instead of buying power from each other as the federal regulators have urged.
In December, we called for FERC to use its clear and unchallenged authority to require – not just request – utilities to share regional electricity supply. The first step would be an investigation into the savings that a regional sharing strategy could produce for electricity customers.
A recent study showed that regional sharing of resources would save customers $1.4 billion over ten years in the smaller, deep south region.
In denying our petition, FERC adopted Duke Energy’s position that NC WARN failed to prove conclusively that Duke’s rates are discriminatory, even though that determination cannot be made without the very investigation NC WARN requested.
As NC WARN asserted in its motion: “The singular purpose of the investigation is to develop the record upon which the Commission can determine whether Duke Energy’s rates would be lower under RTO participation. NC WARN’s position is that if the rates would be significantly lower under a regional strategy, Duke Energy’s rates, now and in the future, are without doubt discriminatory, unjust and unreasonable.”