Duke Energy

Duke imploded its retired Sutton coal-fired plant in 2016.
Duke Energy

President Donald Trump wants to revive the coal industry and bring back coal jobs. But big coal buyers like Duke Energy are moving in the opposite direction. Duke's annual sustainability report calls for continuing to invest in cleaner energy sources, like natural gas and solar power. 

The 10-year plan includes upgrading power lines and systems across Duke's North Carolina grid.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy plans to spend an extra $13 billion over the next decade to modernize the power lines and systems that distribute electricity in North Carolina. The upgrades include burying lines, adding technology to reduce outages, and giving customers more energy efficiency tools. 

Duke Energy is removing coal ash from basins near the retired Riverbend Plant, near Mountain Island Lake.
David Boraks / WFAE

Updated 1:43 p.m.
Duke Energy is suing 30 insurance companies over who should pay to clean up toxic coal ash at its coal-fired power plants in North Carolina. The utility says any money it recovers in the suit will help reduce future rate increases to pay for cleanups.

Duke Energy's Preston Pierce stands atop the dam above Bad Creek Hydro Station in South Carolina.
David Boraks / WFAE

Wind and solar power get most of the attention when it comes to renewable energy. But Duke Energy has another alternative - a type of hydroelectric power called pumped storage. WFAE reporter David Boraks visited Bad Creek hydroelectric station in upstate South Carolina, where Duke is getting ready to invest millions of dollars in upgrades.

About 50 people from a dozen groups protested outside Duke's annual meeting in May 2016.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy is getting rid of in-person annual shareholder meetings. This year's meeting will be online only. Duke says it will save shareholders money and travel and reach more people. But Duke's critics don't like the idea.

Duke Energy is removing coal ash from basins near the retired Riverbend Plant, near Mountain Island Lake.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy this summer will ask North Carolina regulators to raise the rates consumers pay on their electricity bills for the first time in four years. The rate hikes – at Duke’s two electricity subsidiaries in the state - would help pay for new plants, Hurricane Matthew recovery costs and coal ash cleanups.

A loss on the sale of its international operations contributed to an overall loss of $227 million at Duke Energy for the last three months of 2016. Duke on Thursday also reported that its profit for all of 2016 was down about 24 percent, to $2.1 billion.

But after adjusting for one-time expenses, the report was in line with analysts' expectations. Duke’s shares closed the day up 2.7 percent. 

Marcelle and Deborah Graham live near Duke Energy's Buck plant in Salisbury. They think the company's offer of coal ash compensation isn't enough.
David Boraks / WFAE

State law requires Duke Energy to provide public water line connections or water filtration systems to about a thousand households near its North Carolina coal ash dumps by late 2018. Last week, the company offered a cash bonus, too - but only if homeowners give up the right to sue. Some don't like the offer. 

Updated 6:11 p.m.
State environmental officials have given preliminary approval to Duke Energy's plans for providing alternate water supplies to neighbors of coal ash dumps around the state.  Meanwhile, the company says it will offer one-time $5,000 payments, water bill stipends and other assistance to homeowners near coal sites.  

The leaking pipe
Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation

Duke Energy says it has sealed a broken pipe found leaking from a coal ash dump at the Allen electric plant in Gaston County. The utility and an environmental group are disagreeing about the severity of the leak.

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