|Headquarters||Charlotte, North Carolina, United States|
|Area served||Duke Energy Ohio: Ohio, Kentucky
Duke Energy Indiana: Indiana
Duke Energy Carolinas: North Carolina, South Carolina
|Key people||James Buchanan Duke
Benjamin Newton Duke
Jim Rogers (CEO)
Bill Ossman (Expert Engineer)
|Products||Electricity generation, transmission and distribution, natural gas|
|Revenue||USD $15.184 billion, (2006)|
|Operating income||USD $2.967 billion (2006)|
|Net income||USD $1.863 billion (2006)|
|Total assets||USD $49.0 billion|
Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Duke Energy owns and operates 36,000 megawatts of base-load and peak generation that it distributes to its 4 million customers. Duke Energy's service territory covers 47,000 square miles (120,000 km2) with 106,000 miles (171,000 km) of distribution lines. Almost all of Duke Energy's Midwest generation comes from coal, natural gas or oil, while half of its Carolinas generation comes from its nuclear power plants. During 2006, Duke Energy generated 148,798,332 megawatt-hours of electrical energy.
Duke Energy Generation Services (DEGS), a subsidiary of Duke Energy, specializes in the development, ownership and operation of various generation facilities throughout the United States. This segment of the company operates 6,600 megawatts of generation. 240 megawatts of wind generation were under construction and 1,500 additional megawatts of wind generation were in planning stages. On September 9, 2008, DEGS updated its projections for future wind power capacity. By the end of 2008, it would have over 500 MW of nameplate capacity of wind power online, and an additional 5,000 MW in development.
The company began in 1900 as the Catawba Power Company when Dr. Walker Gill Wylie and his brother financed the building of a hydroelectric power station at India Hook Shoals along the Catawba River. In need of additional funding to further his ambitious plan for construction of a series of hydroelectric power plants, Wylie convinced James Buchanan Duke to invest in the Southern Power Company, founded in 1905, which later became known as Duke Power.
Prior to the 1960s, Duke Power was not accepting of black employees. After the Civil Rights Act of 1965, Duke Power switched to a merit-based system of employment that required a high school education or a minimum score on an IQ test.
In 1988, Nantahala Power & Light Co., which served southwestern North Carolina, was purchased by Duke and is now operated under the Duke Power - Nantahala Area brand. Duke Power merged with PanEnergy in 1997 to form Duke Energy. The Duke Power name continued as the electric utility business of Duke Energy until the Cinergy merger.
With the purchase of Cinergy Corporation announced in 2005 and completed on April 3, 2006, Duke Energy Corporation's customer base now includes the Midwestern United States as well. The company operates nuclear power plants, coal-fired plants, conventional hydroelectric plants, natural-gas turbines to handle peak demand, and pumped hydro storage. During 2006, Duke Energy also acquired Chatham, Ontario-based Union Gas, which is regulated under the Ontario Energy Board Act (1998).
On January 3, 2007, Duke Energy spun off its gas business to form Spectra Energy. Duke Energy shareholders received 1 share of Spectra Energy for each 2 shares of Duke Energy. After the spin-off, Duke Energy now receives the majority of its revenue from its electric operations in portions of North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. The spinoff to Spectra also included Union Gas, which Duke Energy acquired the previous year.
On March 16, 2006 Duke Power announced that a Cherokee County, SC site had been selected for a potential new nuclear power plant. The site is jointly owned by Duke Power and Southern Company. Duke plans to develop the site for two Westinghouse Electric Company AP1000 (advanced passive) pressurized water reactors. Each reactor is capable of producing approximately 1,117 megawatts. (See Nuclear Power 2010 Program.)
On December 14, 2007, Duke Power submitted a Combined Construction and Operating License to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with an announcement that it will spend $160 million in 2008 on the plant with a total cost of 5-6 billion dollars.
In 1999 the United States Environmental Protection Agency commenced an enforcement action against Duke Energy for failure to comply with the Clean Air Act. Duke asserted that EPA regulations under the law were arbitrarily changed over the course of 25 years. Environmental groups assert that Duke is using loopholes in the law to increase emissions. Initially, Duke prevailed at the trial court level, but in 2006 the case was argued before the Supreme Court (Environmental Defense v. Duke Energy Corp. (05-848)). The Court unanimously ruled on April 2, 2007 against Duke Energy in favor of the environmental groups.
In 2002, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst identified Duke Energy as the 46th-largest corporate producer of air pollution in the United States, with roughly 36 million pounds of toxic chemicals released annually into the air. Major pollutants included sulfuric and hydrochloric acid, chromium compounds, and hydrogen fluoride. The Political Economy Research Institute ranks Duke Energy 13th among corporations emitting airborne pollutants in the United States. The ranking is based on the quantity (80 million pounds in 2005) and toxicity of the emissions. This change reflects the purchase of fossil fuel-heavy Cinergy which occurred in 2005.
In early 2008, Duke Energy announced a plan to build the new, 800-megawatt Cliffside Unit 6 coal plant 55 miles (89 km) west of Charlotte, North Carolina. The plan has been strongly opposed by environmental groups such as Rising Tide North America, Rainforest Action Network, the community-based Canary Coalition as well as the Southern Environmental Law Center, which has threatened to sue Duke if it does not halt construction plans. On April 1, activists locked themselves to machinery at the Cliffside construction area as part of Fossil Fools Day.
Duke Energy has expressed support for a "cap-and-trade" system to combat global CO2 emissions, and left the National Association of Manufacturers in part over differences on climate policy.
In February, 2010 Duke Energy became embroiled in a battle with the Cherokee Indians over its attempts to build an electrical substation on the sacred Kituwah ceremonial mounds. The Cherokee Tribal Council passed a resolution stating, "“It is this Tribe’s solemn responsibility and moral duty to care for and protect all of Kituwah from further desecration and degradation by human agency in order to preserve the integrity of the most important site for the origination and continuation of Cherokee culture, heritage, history and identity.”  On March 9, 2010 Duke Energy agreed to a 90 day moratorium on construction of the substation.