Duke Energy reaches agreement on coal ash management and basin closure in North Carolina

Published on January 26, 2021 by Dave Kovaleski

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The North Carolina Attorney General, North Carolina Public Staff, Sierra Club, and Duke Energy have reached an agreement on costs related to coal ash management and safe basin closure in the state.

The landmark settlement details a plan for coal ash management cost allocation between 2015 and 2030. Over this time frame, Duke Energy will reduce North Carolina customers’ costs by approximately $1.1 billion. This settlement would reduce coal ash costs included in the pending rate requests by 60 percent, which would provide immediate customer savings if approved.

Further, Duke Energy will maintain its ability to earn a return on the remaining balance, which will help it achieve its long-term financial goals and transition to cleaner energy sources.

“This agreement addresses a shared interest in putting the coal ash debate to rest as we work toward building the cleaner energy future North Carolinians want and deserve,” Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president, said. “We were able to reach a balanced compromise that will deliver immediate and long-term savings to customers and provide greater certainty to the company over the next decade.”

Duke Energy is in the process of permanently closing the remaining coal ash basins in the state, with support from the public, regulators, the environmental community, and elected officials.

The settlement was filed with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) on January 26. The NCUC will make the final decision on the proposed rate requests and the proposed settlement agreement.

Based in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.