PLAINFIELD, Ind., April 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy Indiana today announced a settlement agreement with some of the state's key consumer groups involved in regulatory proceedings dealing with the company's Edwardsport coal gasification power plant.
The proposal, which was filed with state regulators, is subject to Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) approval.
Participants in the settlement, which covers all phases of the Edwardsport subdocket proceedings, are the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, the Duke Energy Indiana Industrial Group and Nucor Steel-Indiana.
The joint intervenor group, consisting of the Citizens Action Coalition, Sierra Club, Save the Valley and Valley Watch, is not part of the settlement.
"If approved, this agreement achieves two important objectives: It reduces what Duke Energy Indiana customers will pay for an advanced technology power plant, and it resolves uncertainty for Duke Energy shareholders," said Duke Energy Indiana President Doug Esamann.
"We're now in the home stretch of completing a facility that will modernize our electric system and provide Indiana with cleaner power to meet increasingly strict federal environmental regulations," he added.
Construction on the Edwardsport plant near Vincennes, Ind., is nearly complete and due to begin serving customers this fall. Current plant costs are estimated at $3.3 billion, including financing charges.
Key provisions of the proposed settlement include:
As a result of the settlement provisions, Duke Energy expects to take pretax charges of approximately $420 million (20 cents per share) in the first quarter of 2012. These charges will be reflected as a "special item" and, therefore, excluded from adjusted diluted earnings per share. The company had previously recorded pretax charges of $265 million related to the project.
Background on the Edwardsport Project
The Edwardsport plant will use state-of-the-art technology to gasify coal, strip out pollutants, and then burn that cleaner gas to produce electricity. This advanced, integrated gasification combined cycle technology significantly improves plant efficiency and reduces carbon emissions per megawatt-hour by nearly half.
Regulators authorized the company in 2007 to construct the technologically advanced clean coal power plant in Edwardsport, Ind. It is the first time a plant this size using this advanced clean coal technology has been built.
The approximately 618-megawatt plant is a critical part of Duke Energy Indiana's efforts to modernize its generation fleet and an initial step toward replacing older, coal-fired generation expected to be retired due to pending EPA regulations. The Edwardsport plant will:
Duke Energy Indiana
Duke Energy Indiana's operations provide approximately 6,800 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 790,000 customers, making it the state's largest electric supplier. Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., its regulated utility operations serve 4 million electric customers in the Carolinas, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and a half-million natural gas customers in Ohio and Kentucky. Its Commercial Power and International Energy business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States. A Fortune 500 company, Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information is available at: www.duke-energy.com.
SOURCE Duke Energy