Duke Energy

Business & Economy
9:03 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Duke Energy To End Retiree Benefit Packages

Credit Duke Energy

Duke Energy is dropping its practice of paying for retirees' health benefits.  The country's largest utility joins companies like IBM, General Electric and Time Warner in the policy change.

 Instead of covering insurance for more than 14,000 retirees, Duke Energy will give them a yearly stipend.  Retirees can use that payment to buy their own coverage.  Dave Scanzoni is a company spokesman.

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Business & Economy
7:36 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Duke Energy Asks Court To Dismiss Merger Appeal

Credit Creative Commons/Jc3s5h

Duke Energy has filed a motion to dismiss an appeal of the ruling that confirmed the merger with Progress Energy. 

The appeal from the environmental group NC WARN says the state Utilities Commission was wrong to exclude outside parties from an investigation of the merger.  Regulators were looking into why Progress Energy CEO Bill Johnson was ousted as leader soon after the deal was complete last year. 

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Politics & Government
8:04 am
Wed August 21, 2013

State Holds Hearing To Consider Duke Energy Efficiency Policy

A public hearing was held to consider Duke Energy's proposed rate increase.
Credit Creative Commons/Jc3s5h

State regulators are considering a plan to allow Duke Energy to charge customers a little more as it increases energy efficiency.

The Utilities Commission held a public hearing yesterday to discuss a proposal from the utility.  Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks says it calls for the company to invest in energy efficiency programs while allowing the utility to recover lost revenue.

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Science & Technology
5:32 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Study Finds US Nuclear Reactors Susceptible To Terrorist Attacks

The Brunswick Nuclear Plant was ranked one of the most vulnerable nuclear reactors to a terrorist attack.
Credit Doc Searls via Wikimedia

A new study commissioned by the Defense Department says every nuclear reactor in America is ill-prepared for a terrorist attack. North Carolina's Brunswick Nuclear Plant was ranked among the most vulnerable to attack, because of it's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.

Kim Crawford is a spokesperson for Duke Energy, which manages four nuclear sites in North Carolina, including Brunswick. She says their plants are safe.

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Environment
5:08 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

35-Acre Solar Farm Under Construction In Orange County

A Strata Solar farm
Credit Strata Solar

A new six megawatt solar farm is under construction the Orange County community of White Cross. When it’s completed, it will be the second largest in the Triangle. The project is being designed by Chapel Hill based company, Strata Solar. The firm's Blair Schoof says when it's up and running, the 35-acre farm will provide energy for about 750 homes.

Strata Solar is the state's largest solar developer, responsible for generating more than 145 megawatts around the state. Schoof says two farms in the Triangle area are already operational with eight more planned for next year.

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Environment
4:57 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Duke Energy Proposes Settlement Over Coal Ash Pond Leaks

A Duke Energy power plant and coal ash ponds outside Asheville.
Credit Zen Sutherland

Duke Energy has reached a tentative settlement with state regulators regarding lawsuits over leaks from its coal ash ponds in Asheville and on the Catawba River.  The company has agreed to pay a $100,000 fine.  The consent order would require the company to determine the cause and the extent of those leaks into groundwater and into Mountain Island Lake, the source of Charlotte’s water supply.  Susan Massengale with the state division of water quality says the agreement lays out a timeline for Duke to do that.

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The State of Things
12:18 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Shearon Harris Shutdown & Investigation

The Shearon Harris nuclear power plant
Credit Nuclear Regulatory Commission / nrc.gov

Federal regulators are investigating the Shearon Harris nuclear plant near Raleigh. They want to know how a flaw in the reactor vessel went undetected or unreported for over a year. News & Observer reporter John Murawski fills in host Frank Stasio on the latest.

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Crime
4:10 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Changes At Duke Energy Substations Crack Down On Copper Thieves

Duke Energy Progress is installing security measures to cut down on copper theft at its substations.
Credit Laura Candler

Duke Energy Progress has completed upgrades to substations in Durham and Greensboro designed to cut down on copper thefts. 

The company has changed the wire it uses, added security cameras and installed more lighting to keep thieves away.  Authorities have reported frequent copper thefts from the Parkwood Tie Station in Durham and the Main Substation in Greensboro.  The metal goes for nearly $3.00 a pound in resale.

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Business & Economy
4:38 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Duke Energy Assesses 1700-Acre Chatham Co. Tract For Business Potential

An aerial view of the site.
Credit Duke Energy

A large parcel of undeveloped land near Siler City has been chosen by Duke Energy to take part in the utility's Site Readiness Program. The utility selected a total of 17 sites in the Carolinas, ten of which are in North Carolina. Duke Energy's Jeff Brooks says the 1700-acre Chatham County tract will be assessed for its potential to lure large industry and manufacturing to the area and calls it a "win-win" for everyone.

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Environment
7:52 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Greensboro Awaits First Draft Of New Tree Ordinance

Stumps like this one have become more common in Greensboro neighborhoods. Duke energy says it cuts when necessary. Residents think the company is being too aggressive.
Credit Jeff Tiberii

Some residents in Greensboro are eagerly awaiting the details of a proposed tree ordinance. A city council subcommittee finished the draft for the ordinance this week, but it has not yet been made public.

The new measure comes in response to a dispute between property owners and Duke Energy over the company’s practice of cutting trees.  Nancy Vaughan is an at-large City Council member who helped write the ordinance draft.

"We were able to protect private property as well as public right of way," says  Vaughan.

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