Regulators force customers to pay nearly $1 billion in coal ash and failed nuclear expenses
Here are a few initial thoughts on some key elements in today’s 402 page ruling, issued at 4:32pm:
The NC Utilities Commission ordered this state’s Duke Energy Carolinas customers to pay $545 million for coal ash negligence and $347 million for the utility’s 13-year, failed effort to begin construction of twin nuclear reactors – a project now cancelled.
Even more shameful is that the commission granted Duke a roughly 10 percent mark-up on the coal ash mistake by corporate execs, just as it did in the Duke Progress case earlier this year.
This profiting from major, predictable failure is directly linked to NC WARN’s key focus in the rate case: the $80 million-plus in influence money that Duke Energy invests each year – using customer money – to control and contort public officials, civic leaders and public opinion.
We appreciate that Commissioners Clodfelter and Brown-Bland both dissented against raising the basic service charge and forcing customers to pay for coal ash negligence.
The commission did not go along with Duke’s $7.8 billion grid “modernization” scheme.