You may be familiar with SB 3, the legislation that instituted North Carolina’s daft “renewable energy and energy efficiency portfolio standard.” But what, you may ask, is CWIP?

CWIP (not to be confused with PWIP PIP) is the Construction Work In Progress portion of SB 3, a way of buying Duke Energy’s support for the unwieldy, rate-hiking measure. CWIP basically allows utilities to recover costs of construction of power plants through rate hikes even if they never come on line. I explain in my newsletter how similar measure in Florida is leaving ratepayers on the hook for the cost of Duke’s (through Progress Energy) aborted Crystal River nuclear power plant — up to $264 million’s worth of cost (on top of the nearly $100 million already covered) for power that never came on line.