Duke Energy

dan river coal ash cleanup
David Boraks / WFAE

By EMERY P. DALESIO
AP Business Writer

Charging North Carolina consumers the full, multi-billion-dollar cost of cleaning up coal ash dumps is comparable to tire stores charging customers an extra fee to dispose of an old set of wheels, a Duke Energy Corp. executive said Monday.

Duke Energy and the state's utility consumer advocates have reached a partial agreement on a rate increase for eastern North Carolina that's lower than what the company originally sought. But Duke and the advocates are still haggling over how much consumers should pay for coal ash cleanups at Duke's North Carolina power plants and hurricane recovery costs.

David Boraks - WFAE

For several years, Duke Energy has faced criticisms about its handling of coal ash, including concerns about contamination of groundwater around coal ash storage ponds at power plant sites in the Carolinas. Now, the company is facing scrutiny over the way it engaged with experts hired to study its handling of coal ash ponds. 

Hurricane Irma repair costs affected Duke's third-quarter profits.
Duke Energy

Repair costs after Hurricane Irma cut into Duke Energy's profits in the third quarter.  The cancellation of a Florida nuclear project also contributed.

Coal ash is being excavated from Duke Energy's closed Riverbend coal plant on Mountain Island Lake.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy has removed about 13 million tons of coal ash at five plants in North Carolina as it complies with federal and state cleanup requirements. But ten times that amount remains in the ground across the state, and not all that will be removed.

Duke Energy

What if a dam holding back coal ash burst at one of Duke Energy's coal plants in the Carolinas or Midwest? Newly released maps from Duke show many properties would be inundated, including some homes and docks. The maps are now public, after environmentalists threatened to sue. 

Sheep from a local farm are grazing to keep grass down beneath the panels at Duke Energy's Monroe solar farm.
David Boraks / WFAE

On a country road south of Monroe in Union County, near a golf course and soybean fields, is a new kind of farm - a solar farm.  This spring, Duke Energy began generating electricity from 684,000 solar panels here, the largest solar farm in the Charlotte region and one of the largest in the state.

Map shows the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline

A divided panel of federal regulators granted approvals Friday evening for two major East Coast projects, the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley natural gas pipelines.

Duke Energy says it will publish federally mandated maps that it previously refused to publish, showing what could happen to neighboring properties if a coal-ash pit burst.

Two environmental advocacy groups had said last week they planned a lawsuit to force disclosure of the information withheld for more than a dozen Duke Energy sites in Indiana, Kentucky and North Carolina.

The groups said Duke Energy was the country's only electric utility not providing the dam safety information.

Duke already has installed large battery systems elsewhere, like this one at a wind farm in Texas.
Duke Energy

Duke Energy plans to install its first two large-scale battery storage units in 2019 in western North Carolina.  A nine-megawatt battery system will be installed in Asheville and a four-megawatt system is planned in Hot Springs, in Madison County.

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