Local

Cost to appeal Duke Energy plant: $10 million pledge

Duke Energy’s old Asheville power plant began commercial operation in 1964.
Duke Energy’s old Asheville power plant began commercial operation in 1964.

Two advocacy groups will have to put up $10 million to appeal the approval of Duke Energy’s new power plant in Asheville.

The N.C. Utilities Commission approved the natural gas-fired plant in February, over the objections of advocates including Durham-based NC WARN and Boone’s Climate Times.

Duke argues that it has to begin construction in October in order to comply with a state law that requires the $1 billion plant be operating by 2020. A two-year delay in construction, while the appeal is litigated, could cost the company $50 million to $140 million, the company said.

WARN and the Climate Times called Duke’s request that they post a $50 million bond an attempt to intimidate advocates from appealing.

The commission ruled Tuesday that WARN, as a condition of its appeal, sign by May 27 a promise to pay Duke $10 million if the company suffers damage.

Duke, in turn, is required to tell the commission by Sept. 1 whether it will delay construction because of the appeal. If Duke decides to begin work, the commission said it might be willing to cancel WARN’s $10 million pledge.

Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051, @bhender

  Comments