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Duke Energy scraps SC nuke plant, seeks higher power rates

Posted August 25

— The country's largest electric company wants permission to charge its customers billions of dollars to pay for building new power plants, a nuclear plant it won't open and the cleanup of coal ash it deposited in unlined pits.

Duke Energy asked the North Carolina Utilities Commission Friday to let it raise rates by nearly 17 percent to collect another $647 million a year. That could mean another $19 on the typical monthly bill for residential customers of Duke Energy Carolinas.

The electricity provider for 2 million North Carolina customers also wants to collect nearly $1.7 billion over five years to close all its pits storing the toxic ash from burning coal. The additional money is also to recoup costs for trying to plan, build and get regulatory approval for the Lee nuclear plant

David Drooz, the top state lawyer representing utility consumers, said his office would study the details of Duke Energy's arguments and take a public position later.

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