Duke Energy to increase stake in three nuclear plants

29 July 2014

Duke Energy Progress has agreed to acquire generating assets - including stakes in the Brunswick and Harris nuclear power plants - from North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency (NCEMPA) for $1.2 billion.

The power agency owns partial interests in several Duke Energy Progress plants in North Carolina, representing approximately 700MW of generating capacity.

It owns a 341MW (18%) share of the Brunswick Nuclear Plant, which comprises two boiling water reactors, and also a 146MW (16%) stake in the Harris Nuclear Plant, a single-unit pressurized water reactor in Wake County. In addition NCEMPA has ownership interests in the Mayo and Roxboro Plant coal-fired plants in Person County.

The purchase price includes ownership interests in the plants, as well as fuel inventories and spare parts inventories, Duke says.

Duke Energy Progress, which serves nearly 1.5 million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina, also says it will enter into a 30-year wholesale power supply agreement to continue meeting the needs of NCEMPA customers currently served by the plants.

NCEMPA said the deal would allow it to lower costs and still maintain the benefits of public power. The current debt owed by NCEMPA members is approximately $1.9 billion. After selling the assets for $1.2 billion and liquidating certain bond reserve funds, the power agency members would share responsibility for outstanding debt of approximately $480 million

"We've been investigating options to lower our costs for several years while preserving the benefits of public power," said Graham Edwards, ElectriCities chief executive officer. "Selling our generation assets is a significant way we can achieve that goal and strengthen NC Public Power's future in eastern North Carolina."

The deal is subject to regulatory approval by various state and federal agencies. Under the terms of the agreement the transaction must be approved and completed by the end of 2016.

Photo: Harris nuclear plant (Credit: Duke Energy Progress)

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