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North Carolina regulators size $1B Duke Energy gas plant impact
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North Carolina regulators size $1B Duke Energy gas plant impact

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on North Carolina electricity regulators considering the costs of converting an Asheville power plant from burning coal to natural gas (all times local):

1 p.m.

North Carolina electricity regulators are deliberating whether to allow a $1 billion Duke Energy conversion of an Asheville coal-burning power plant to burn cleaner natural gas.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission on Monday heard details of the project. Duke Energy would pass along the costs plus a profit margin to its customers.

Environmental groups say Duke Energy is overstating the future electricity need in the North Carolina mountains to get the plant built.

Duke Energy says it’s forecasting regional electricity demand to grow by 17 percent in the next decade. The company says protests that stopped a 45-mile power line across the mountains of North Carolina and South Carolina last year means not enough electricity can be brought in from other places to meet likely demand.

4:35 a.m.

North Carolina electricity regulators are collecting information on a huge natural gas-burning power plant Duke Energy wants to build in Asheville.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission meets Monday to hear the reasons Duke Energy wants to build the power plant to replace a coal-burning plant.

Environmental groups oppose building the plant they say is unneeded and passing along the nearly $1 billion cost to electricity customers. Opponents say Duke Energy is overstating the projected need for electricity in the North Carolina mountains to get the plant built.

The meeting comes one week before a deadline set by state legislators last year for regulators to decide whether to approve construction.

In related news, NC regulator fines Duke Energy nearly $7M for coal ash spill.

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