Duke CEO Lynn Good: No deal yet on V.C. Summer investment

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) CEO Lynn Good said Aug. 7 that no deal has been reached yet although talks continue with Santee Cooper on Duke’s potential investment in two new nuclear power units in South Carolina.

Duke has been talking with Santee Cooper, South Carolina’s state-owned utility, about taking part of Santee Cooper’s minority stake in V.C. Summer units 2 and 3 currently under construction.

The majority owner in the nuclear station is SCANA (NYSE:SCG) and Santee Cooper has been looking to reduce its 45% stake in the new units since before Duke merged with Progress Energy in July 2012.

Duke continues to believe in regional nuclear projects, “but we have not yet reached agreement,” Good said.

Good, who recently succeeded the retiring Jim Rogers as Duke CEO; also elaborated on the Aug. 1 Duke Energy Florida revised stipulation and settlement agreement that has been filed with the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC).

The Florida commission must still rule on the proposed settlement by the end of 2013, Good said during Duke’s second quarter earnings call.

The minimal adjusted earnings impacts from the Florida settlement will involve a write-off of $295m of the Crystal River 3 (CR3) carrying investment, according to Duke earnings data.

 The write-off of the wholesale portion of the proposed Levy nuclear plant investment will involve roughly $65m, Duke said.

On the positive side the Florida settlement speeds up cash recovery of $135m of CR 3 carrying investments over 2014-2016. The Florida settlement also eases Duke plans to line up 3,000 MW of new capacity in Florida.

Duke expects to issue a request for proposals (RFP) this year for combined-cycle natural gas generation that could come online in Florida during 2018.

As far as operation of existing nuclear plants, Duke has four refueling and maintenance outages schedules in the remainder of 2013, Good said.

Also during the call, Good praised Rogers’s leadership at Duke. She also called the commissioning of Edwardsport IGCC a major milestone for Duke and its Indiana customers.

The new CEO also lamented cooler, wetter weather in the Carolinas during the quarter, which depressed earnings.

Duke Energy announced 2Q13 adjusted diluted EPS of 87 cents, compared to $1.02 for 2Q12, and reported diluted EPS of 48 cents, compared to 99 cents for the same period last year.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.