The Charlotte Business Journal is reporting that Duke Energy Carolinas has increased its estimated construction costs for the anticipated Lee Nuclear Station in Cherokee County, S.C., from the original projection of $4 to $8 billion to some $11 billion. Factoring in financing costs, the Journal estimates the total would rise to more than $14 billion. The new estimate was part of the company’s report to the N.C. Utilities Commission regarding its 2008 Integrated Resource Plan. Most of the customers for the twin-reactor plant would be North Carolina residents (see the Xpress’ April 30 report, “How Much Is that Nuclear Plant in the Window?”).
The Cliffside plant, under construction on the border of Rutherford and Cleveland counties in North Carolina, was upgraded in the company’s report from an original design rating of 800 megawatts to 825. According to the Journal, Duke’s two combined-cycle natural-gas projects — the Dan River plant in Rockingham County and the Buck plant in Rowan County — will be delayed because of the weakened U.S. economy’s effect on financing.
— Nelda Holder, associate editor