Duke Energy reached a settlement with the Wyoming Department of Revenue on the company's 2010 property tax valuation appeal.

Duke Energy's projects will pay $2.54 million to cover the 2010 tax assessments, instead of $2.77 million, which was based on the state's original assessments. The settlement reflects adjustments to the state's assessed values assigned to Duke Energy's four Wyoming wind farms as of Dec. 31, 2009.

Duke said the most significant change involves the state's assessed value of its Top of the World wind project, near Casper. 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 its property tax assessment. Because the project was built and put into commercial operation in 2010, Duke Energy will pay property tax on the assessed value of these turbines as part of its 2011 tax bill, covering calendar year 2010.

Duke said the Wyoming Department of Revenue also reduced the assessed value of its 29 MW Happy Jack and 42 MW Silver Sage wind farms in Cheyenne and its 99 MW Campbell Hill site near Casper. Duke said this resolves its appeals of the 2010 property tax assessments for its Wyoming wind farms, covering assets in the state as of Dec. 31, 2009. Duke said the company and the Wyoming Department of Revenue will continue their dialogue on wind farm property tax assessments, including which intangible assets should be factored into the valuations.

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