Duke Energy

Duke Energy Solar farm near Elizabeth City NC
Duke Energy Renewables

Duke Energy and Google announced a deal Tuesday that will supply Google's Lenoir data center with power from a new solar farm under development in Rutherford County. Duke says the 61-megawatt facility being developed by Rutherford Solar LLC will be one of North Carolina's largest.

Under the deal, Duke Energy will buy power from the new solar project, and re-sell it to Google. The partnership is the first through Duke's Green Source Rider program, which supplies renewable energy to non-residential customers. The project's cost won't be passed on to the utility's other customers.

Duke Energy/Flickr

Duke Energy's latest earnings report shows profits declined 27 percent from the same period a year ago. The Charlotte-based company's net income was $932 million through the end of September, which missed analyst expectations.

Weak results internationally and legal settlements in the U.S. hurt Duke Energy's bottom line. The settlements in the quarter were related to a coal plant in Indiana and cleaning up coal ash in North Carolina.


In response to a flood of criticism, Duke Energy is changing its plan to power the western Carolinas.  It's still replacing a coal plant in Asheville with natural gas, but the company will not build a transmission line through the mountains.

Duke Energy received more than 9,000 comments on the project, and much of the outcry focused on the transmission line.

Southern Environmental Law Center attorney D.J. Gerken says the large power line would've been a visual scar that cut through conservation lands and fragmented habitats.   

April Bethea / Charlotte Observer

If both companies get their way Piedmont Natural Gas will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Duke Energy by the end of next year. The price: $6.7 billion in cash and debt. The announcement came as a bit of a surprise.

Ben Bradford / WFAE

In North Carolina, what started with a record state fine over one coal ash facility is now ending with a much smaller price tag that'll cover all of Duke Energy's coal ash facilities. The state environmental department announced Tuesday it's settling the lawsuit, in part because of conflicting guidance from the McCrory and Perdue administrations on fines.

North Carolina is giving $5 million in grants to a television pilot, an HGTV show and an independent film under the state incentives program.  On Friday, Commerce Secretary John Skvarla announced the grants, which were chosen from 17 applications. 

David Boraks

Visitors to Lake Norman and Lake Wylie may have noticed a lot more bare earth peaking out from the edges of the lakes. Lake Norman and Lake Wylie have dipped two to three feet below their typical levels for this time of year, due to drought.

Duke Energy/Flickr

Duke Energy’s earnings fell 11 percent in the second quarter, driven in part by weakness in international business. For the quarter, the utility reported earnings of $543 million, or 78 cents a share. That’s down from $609 million, or 86 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago. The company owns hydroelectric dams in Latin America, primarily in Brazil. For the second quarter in a row, chief financial officer Steve Young told investors that drought conditions in Brazil have meant the government is running the dams less and a weak economy hasn’t helped either.

Ben Bradford / WFAE

The North Carolina Senate does not like the Obama administration’s sweeping new rule to limit carbon emissions from power plants. The Senate voted Wednesday to restrict state compliance with the law and to sue the administration.   

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, along with many Republican governors, opposes the carbon rule taking effect and has said he plans a lawsuit. The Senate bill requires one.

In the meantime, it orders state environment officials not to take the first step of the rule, developing a plan for cutting carbon emissions by about a third.

Ben Bradford / WFAE

North Carolina produces more solar energy than any state except California, but a new report ranks Charlotte near the bottom of major cities for solar installations.