Duke Energy's quarterly earnings - announced today - were down 30 percent compared to last year because of massive cost overruns on a coal-fired plant it's building in Indiana. The Edwardsport Coal Gasification plant was supposed to cost $2 billion when originally approved in 2007. Duke's latest revision to that price tag is $3 billion and investors are nervous it could go even higher. When asked on a call with investors this morning if this latest revision in the Edwardsport estimate would be last, Duke CEO Jim Rogers said "Yes, that's a very good way to think about it." The company subtracted about $220 million of the extra costs from its third quarter earnings, for a net profit of $472 million. Duke is asking Indiana utility regulators for permission to have ratepayers cover much of the extra cost. Those hearings are currently underway. Duke is also requesting a 15 percent overall rate hike in North Carolina. Attorney General Roy Cooper today joined the state's top utility consumer advocate in opposing the increase.
Costly Plant In Indiana Drags On Duke Earnings
By Julie Rose • Nov 3, 2011