Business

Duke might buy out cities' interest in former Progress plants

Posted February 3

The Shearon Harris nuclear plant in southwest Wake County

— A Duke Energy unit is negotiating with the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency about possibly buying out the agency's interests in power plants formerly owned by Progress Energy, officials said Monday.

NCEMPA has partial ownership interests in several plants, including the Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant in Wake County, the Brunswick Nuclear Plant Units 1 and 2 in Brunswick County and the Mayo Plant and Roxboro Plant Unit 4, both in Person County.

The agency's stake represents approximately 700 megawatts of generating capacity, officials said. The municipal distribution lines and other assets aren't part of the buyout discussions.

Thirty-two municipalities belong to NCEMPA, including Apex, Wake Forest, Louisburg, Clayton, Smithfield, Rocky Mount and Wilson, and customers have complained for years about high electric rates because of they are still paying off debt incurred from building the power plants.

Duke officials said any potential transaction would take months to complete and get approved.

If an agreement is reached, they said, Duke and NCEMPA would enter into a wholesale power contract to continue meeting the needs of the 270,000 customers who get their electricity from the municipal power agency.

5 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • rroadrunner99 Feb 4, 11:58 a.m.

    I thought they were broke and needed a rate hike? No Sale, and now, no rate hike's in the forseeable future I say!

  • changedmyname Feb 3, 7:53 p.m.

    Yep, North Carolina Keep putting your all your eggs in one basket. Let MA Duke take care of everything. That's MA Bell's Cuz.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Feb 3, 5:55 p.m.

    Just looking for another way to not keep their word or to stick it to the customers? Not a fan of DE. They are not nearly as fast responding to power outtages as PE was. PE would usually respond within 2 hours. For DE, it's often the next morning after 9:30am, like they'll only respond during business hours, and after they've all had breakfast, or something.

  • SaveEnergyMan Feb 3, 5:08 p.m.

    You think Duke/PE is expensive, you should see what these cities charge. It's a good 10-20% higher. Probably would be better for the residents if Duke/PE took over providing power completely and the cities got out of the utility business.

    My understanding is that the cities have been deferring their debt for the longest time, creating big issues (stranded cost) when deregulation was discussed. This seems like a dream come true for them.

  • Obamacare rises again Feb 3, 4:52 p.m.

    Well, they certainly have the financial means to do so after having raped all of the former Progress Energy customers throughout the past year.