Friday, August 5, 2011

Duke's new-nuclear spending limited

The N.C. Utilities Commission today endorsed Duke Energy's decision to spend up to another $120 million to develop its Lee nuclear plant site near Gaffney, S.C.


The commission's order reflects an argument, accepted by Duke, that limits the scope of its spending on the $11 billion plant, which is scheduled to open in about 2021. It's similar to an order from South Carolina's utility commission in June.


Duke initially sought the commission's endorsement of spending $229 million on Lee between January 2010 and the end of 2013. Including earlier spending, that would have put its total investment for engineering, designs and site development at $455 million.


The commission's Public Staff, which represents consumers, argued it would be overly ambitious for Duke to spend that amount given the uncertainties around new nuclear plants - among them shaky financing, reactor design problems and the nuclear calamity in Japan. Duke agreed to a $120 million spending cap over a shorter period, January 2011 through June 2012.


The commission approved that cap -- or, in the cautious language of the order, Duke's decision to spend that much. At some future point, the commission will be asked to approve the "prudence and reasonableness" of Duke's investment --and how much will be passed to customers.

6 comments:

budman said...

I an an unemployed construction management person with ten years of nuclear plant construction & maintenance experience. I have an application in with Duke, this probably kills my (and others)chance at re-employment for a good while. Just keep sending those state checks.

Anonymous said...

Budman - Shaw Group is hiring folks like you. They are building two new reactors in Jenkinsville, SC (about 1.5 hours from Charlotte). Check them out www.shawgrp.com.

Anonymous said...

Duke should invest more if its money into alternative, clean energy solutions rather than more nuclear power plants. Ever wonder why Charlotte has the #3 worst air quality in the country? I'm curious if the abundance of nuclear power plants in the area have anything to do with it. I'd like to think I'm off base but that would be naive...

Anonymous said...

Brilliant idea, considering nuclear has no impact on air quality. Please explain your logic here because it is lacking!

Anonymous said...

Well said

Anonymous said...

I am sure budman has already tried Shaw......I will be the first to tell you that most construction people have been hired for Jenkinsville. Hiring started years ago for those roles, pretty much most of the spots remaining are through subcontractor positions. This decision hurts companies like Shaw, because they were spending time and money on Lee, and this slows progress in big way.