Duke Energy Corporation (Duke Energy) received an order from a federal judge in Indiana to close three coal-fired units at its West Terre Haute Wabash River Station by September 30, 2009. The plant previously owned by Cinergy Corp, violated federal emissions standards after it refurbished the units without a permit, which followed a jury ruling in 2008. Duke Energy acquired Cinergy for $9 billion in April 2006. The court’s order accelerates that timetable by three years.

Duke Energy, ruling during 2008, planned that its units 2, 3 and 5 would retire in 2012, when its integrated gasification combined-cycle plant in Edwardsport, Indiana, commences operations.

A combined capacity of 265 megawatts (MW) would be reduced by closing units 2, 3 and 5, which comes to 39% of the plant’s 677 MW power-generating capacity.

Jim Turner, president and chief operating officer of Duke’s franchised electric and gas segment stated that the judge’s decision would effect the units which are around 50 years old.

The company’s operations should not have impact by the court’s order in 2009, because of changes Duke had already made following the jury’s verdict last year, Jim Turner added.