Dan River Steam Station Ash Basin
PHOTO: Riverkeeper Foundation
Dan River Steam Station Ash Basin Excavation Complete
PHOTO: Duke Energy
Milestone Settlement Resolves Last Remaining Coal Ash Management Issues
January 25, 2021
Duke Energy has reached agreement with North Carolina's Attorney General (AG), NC Utilities Commission (NCUC) Public Staff, and Sierra Club on the costs of coal ash management and basin closure in North Carolina. This settlement does not change the actual clean up and excavation of more than 80 million tons of coal ash by Duke Energy under the December 2019 settlement, but relates only to payment of coal ash cleanup costs.
The proposed settlement was signed January 22, 2021 and filed with the NCUC today (January 25) detailing a plan for coal ash management cost allocation between 2015 and 2030 that will reduce NC customer cost burden by approximately $1.1 billion. The true savings will depend on interest rates and the ultimate amount spent on coal ash cleanup.
Today's settlement applies to the costs in the 2017 rate case, 2019 rate case, and future rate cases. The Attorney General posted the following details on the NC Department of Justice website:
- In the 2019 rate case, Duke Energy will write off more than $485 million in coal ash costs for retail customers.
- In future rate cases, Duke Energy will write off more than $270 million in additional coal ash costs for retail customers.
- Duke Energy will also reduce its return on equity for cleanup costs, resulting in additional savings for retail customers of tens of millions of dollars.
- In addition to the new savings for ratepayers shown above, the parties have asked the Utilities Commission to keep in place the $100 million penalty that it ordered in 2017.
“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,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “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.”
Attorney General Josh Stein said, “Today’s settlement is a win for every Duke Energy customer. I have long held that North Carolinians should not bear the full cost of cleaning up coal ash. As a result of today’s settlement, we won’t — to the tune of more than $1 billion."
Duke Energy News Release
Posted January 25, 2021 • Contact Meredith Archie 800.559.3853
Attorney General News Release
Posted January 25, 2021 • Contact Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484
December 2019 Settlement Agreement
Signed December 31, 2019
January 2021 Settlement Agreement
Signed January 22, 2021