Friday, February 23, 2007

Two New Coal Powered Power Plants For NC?

On Thursday, lawmakers sent a letter to the N.C. Utilities Commission, asking it to delay its decision for 90 days on whether to allow Duke Energy to build two coal-fired power generators at the aging Cliffside facility west of Charlotte. Launched by Rep. Paul Luebke, D-Durham, the letter complains that the public hasn’t received adequate information about the plant and the potential negative impact on consumers, in addition to its rising costs. In November, the company acknowledged that its cost estimate for the plants in Rutherford and Cleveland counties had soared 50 percent, from $2 billion to more than $3 billion. Duke Energy is urging quick approval of the new plants so it can “lock in on negotiated prices for equipment and labor before costs rise again.” If built, Duke Energy’s proposed Cliffside units would be the state’s first major power plant project in a quarter century. The utilities commission is scheduled to rule on the proposal next week.

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