Duke Energy

Mark Rumsey / WFAE

For the last three years, an advisory panel based at UNC Charlotte has helped guide Duke Energy as the company figures out what to do with coal ash. And, during that time, Duke has also contracted with the university to do scientific research on specific coal ash sites.   

Providing research and advice of this nature requires a degree of collaboration. But, when companies turn to universities for hired expertise, challenges and questions about the relationship can arise. Can such collaboration become too cozy?

Duke Energy - Carolinas says a “data compromise” could have included about 374,000 of its customers over a nearly 10-year period. The company says the data breach may include customers names, banking information, address, Duke Energy account number and balance.

dan river coal ash cleanup
David Boraks / WFAE

By EMERY P. DALESIO
AP Business Writer

Charging North Carolina consumers the full, multi-billion-dollar cost of cleaning up coal ash dumps is comparable to tire stores charging customers an extra fee to dispose of an old set of wheels, a Duke Energy Corp. executive said Monday.

Duke Energy and the state's utility consumer advocates have reached a partial agreement on a rate increase for eastern North Carolina that's lower than what the company originally sought. But Duke and the advocates are still haggling over how much consumers should pay for coal ash cleanups at Duke's North Carolina power plants and hurricane recovery costs.

David Boraks - WFAE

For several years, Duke Energy has faced criticisms about its handling of coal ash, including concerns about contamination of groundwater around coal ash storage ponds at power plant sites in the Carolinas. Now, the company is facing scrutiny over the way it engaged with experts hired to study its handling of coal ash ponds. 

Hurricane Irma repair costs affected Duke's third-quarter profits.
Duke Energy

Repair costs after Hurricane Irma cut into Duke Energy's profits in the third quarter.  The cancellation of a Florida nuclear project also contributed.

Coal ash is being excavated from Duke Energy's closed Riverbend coal plant on Mountain Island Lake.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy has removed about 13 million tons of coal ash at five plants in North Carolina as it complies with federal and state cleanup requirements. But ten times that amount remains in the ground across the state, and not all that will be removed.

Duke Energy

What if a dam holding back coal ash burst at one of Duke Energy's coal plants in the Carolinas or Midwest? Newly released maps from Duke show many properties would be inundated, including some homes and docks. The maps are now public, after environmentalists threatened to sue. 

Sheep from a local farm are grazing to keep grass down beneath the panels at Duke Energy's Monroe solar farm.
David Boraks / WFAE

On a country road south of Monroe in Union County, near a golf course and soybean fields, is a new kind of farm - a solar farm.  This spring, Duke Energy began generating electricity from 684,000 solar panels here, the largest solar farm in the Charlotte region and one of the largest in the state.

Map shows the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline

A divided panel of federal regulators granted approvals Friday evening for two major East Coast projects, the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley natural gas pipelines.

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