Duke Energy Resolves Wyoming Wind Farms Property Tax Appeal

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Duke Energy has reached a settlement with the Wyoming Department of Revenue (DOR) on the company's 2010 property tax valuation appeal. The settlement, approved in December 2010 by then-governor David Freudenthal and the Wyoming DOR, reflects adjustments to the state's assessed values assigned to Duke Energy's four Wyoming wind farms as of Dec. 31, 2009.

The most significant change involves the state's assessed value of Duke Energy's Top of the World project. In its appeal, Duke Energy contended that wind turbines ordered for the 200 MW project but not yet delivered as of Dec. 31, 2009, should not have been included in the company's property tax assessment. Because the project was built and put into commercial operation in 2010, Duke Energy will instead pay property tax on the assessed value of these turbines as part of its 2011 tax bill (covering calendar year 2010).

The Wyoming DOR also slightly reduced the assessed values of Duke Energy's 29 MW Happy Jack and 42 MW Silver Sage wind farms in Cheyenne and its 99 MW Campbell Hill site near Casper.Â

The state agreed to exclude from the 2010 property tax valuation funds set aside by Duke Energy to meet its asset retirement obligations.

This resolves Duke Energy's appeals of the 2010 property tax assessments for its Wyoming wind farms, covering assets in the state as of Dec. 31, 2009. Duke Energy's projects will pay an aggregate of $2.54 million to cover the 2010 tax assessments, instead of $2.77 million, which was based on the state's original assessments.

This year, the company and the Wyoming DOR will continue their dialogue on wind farm property tax assessments, including which intangible assets should be factored into the valuations, according to the company.

SOURCE: Duke Energy

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