The majority of the plants capacity is unaffected by the ruling, which calls for units 2, 3 and 5 to be retired, while the remaining Duke Energy-owned units at the station 4 and 6 will be unaffected. Shutting down units 2, 3 and 5 will remove a combined capacity of 265 megawatts, which is 39 percent of the stations 677- megawatt power generating capacity.
Following an adverse ruling by a jury in May 2008, Duke Energy had proposed as a remedy that units 2, 3 and 5 be retired in 2012, when the new IGCC plant in Edwardsport comes on line. The courts order today accelerates that timetable by two years.
We are disappointed with the courts decision to accelerate the shutdown of Wabash River Units 2, 3 and 5, said Duke Energy Chief Legal Officer Marc Manly. But even though disappointed, I will reiterate our satisfaction that after 10 years of litigation, the companys position regarding power plant projects was vindicated in the vast majority of instances about which the government originally complained. We will continue to review the Courts ruling and evaluate our options.
The judge also ruled:
The company will not have to install additional emissions reduction equipment on units 4 or 6.
Duke Energy will have to surrender sulfur dioxide (SO2) allowances for the period between May 22, 2008 and Sept. 20, 2009. This amount is significantly less than requested by the government.
Judge McKinney reduced the governments proposed fine on Beckjord Station from $1.32 million to $687,500.
The units at Wabash River impacted by this decision are more than 50 years old," said James L. Turner, president and chief operating officer of Duke Energys Franchised Electric & Gas segment. This order should not have an impact on Duke Energys operation in 2009 because of changes we already made to our operating plans following the jurys verdict last summer. However, we will have to re-evaluate our plans for meeting peak demand the next two summers and work with the Midwest Independent System Operator to ensure we have an adequate plan for the reliable operation of the system.
In addition to the new coal gasification plant, Duke Energy will have invested nearly $5 billion to substantially reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and other pollutants from the companys coal-based power plants in the five states it serves. The net result of these investments will be a reduction of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions by approximately 70 percent across Duke Energys five-state service area by 2010.
Duke Energy Indianas operations provide 6,500 megawatts of electricity capacity to approximately 775,000 customers, making it the states largest electric supplier.