Estimated Cost of 1 Duke Coal Generator at Cliffside Is $1.53B

Estimated Cost of 1 Duke Coal Generator at Cliffside Is $1.53B

Duke Energy estimated it would cost $1.53 billion to build a single coal-fired power unit at its Cliffside power plant in western North Carolina, the state Public Utilities Commission disclosed Wednesday.

Duke Energy Corp. provided the estimate when seeking permission from the commission to build a pair of generators, estimated at $3 billion, at its Cliffside Steam Station. In a brief ruling issued in February, the commission said it would allow the Charlotte-based utility to build only one of the 800-megawatt coal-fired generators.

Duke has until May 31 to file any special reports with the commission detailing any revisions to the cost estimate for the single unit. The company has said it didn’t plan to decide whether to proceed with a smaller Cliffside project until it sees final cost estimates, which should be completed soon after the end of the first quarter.

Duke Energy, with 2.2 million customers in the Carolinas, first sought a permit for two new Cliffside generators in May 2005, saying they would be the most reliable way of meeting increasing customer demand for electricity.

In North Carolina alone, Duke expects a 50 percent increase in demand from 2000 to 2030 due to new homes, new businesses and what the company’s CEO Jim Rogers has called a “love affair with anything electronic.”

The permission to build the single unit at Cliffside is conditional on Duke retiring four of its existing five units there, as the new generator becomes operational.

N.C. Utilities Commission:

Duke Energy Corp.:

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