Tuesday, June 12, 2012

NC commission sets merger deadlines

The N.C. Utilities Commission has set a fast schedule for reviewing the federal approval of the Duke Energy-Progress Energy merger.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission attached new conditions in approving the $26 billion merger last Friday. Now the state commission wants to assess the FERC order's impact on North Carolina customers, including merger terms agreed to by the utilities and the commission's Public Staff, which represents consumers.

A commission order says Duke, Progress and the Public Staff have until Wednesday to file comments or testimony on the impact of the federal order. Formal parties to the merger case, such as customer groups, have to file comments and respond to the utilities' position by Monday. The utilities and Public Staff have until next Tuesday to issue rebuttals.

Duke and Progress, meanwhile, have 15 days following Friday's federal order to indicated their acceptance of the new conditions. The companies have targeted a July 1 closing, but have a week beyond that to seal the merger or potentially abandon it.