Duke Energy Corp
Duke Energy Corp is an integrated energy business involved in the transmission and distribution of natural gas and the generation and supply of electricity (see hydroelectricity). The company is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and has significant operations in Canada. For the 2003 fiscal year, the company reported approximately 23 800 employees and operating revenues of $22.2 billion (all figures in US dollars unless otherwise noted). It celebrated its centenary in 2004.
Duke Energy traces its beginnings back to the construction of the Catawba Hydro Station on the Catawba River in South Carolina by the Catawba Power Company in 1904. The station was completed on 30 April 1904 of that year and had a cotton mill plant in nearby Rock Hill as its first customer.
In the years that followed the company (as "Duke Power") expanded its grid throughout the region, acquiring and building additional generating plants that relied mostly on hydro-electric generation of power, although it did construct its first coal-fired generation plant in 1911. In the 1930s, the company was finally forced to respond to the limited availability of water resources and shifted its focus to the coal-fired generation of power.
Advancements in nuclear technology for the use of power generation in the 1940s and 1950s made possible the commercial viability of nuclear power plants, the first of which in the US was opened in 1957. Duke Power, which joined the Atomic Industrial Forum to explore the beneficial uses of nuclear energy, opened its first nuclear power plant, Oconee nuclear station, in Greenville, South Carolina, on 6 February 1973 at the height of the energy crisis.
On 12 July 1961 Duke's stock commenced trading at the New York Stock Exchange, and in 1964 the company decided to incorporate under the laws of North Carolina (moving from New Jersey) to reflect its close association with the region.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the company brought additional units on line and, in 1997, merged with PanEnergy Corp to create Duke Energy Corp. It subsequently started to expand northward into Canada and southward into Latin America. Through its unit, Duke Energy Field Services, the company acquires natural gas gathering and processing assets in northwestern Alberta.
In 2002, Duke Energy finalized the purchase of Westcoast Energy for $8 billion in a deal approved by the British Columbia Utilities Commission, thereby acquiring significant natural gas transmission, production, and development assets. These assets include those of the former, eastern Canada-based Union Gas, which had been purchased by Westcoast in 1992.
Duke Energy is an integrated energy company with industrial and residential clients across North America and Latin America. The company operations are carried out by the following business units: Franchised Electric, Natural Gas Transmission, Field Services, Duke Energy North America, and International Energy. Through its real estate arm, Crescent Resources LLC, Duke is also involved in commercial and residential real estate.
For the 2003 fiscal year, the company reported total operating revenues of $22.2 billion on net equipment assets of $46 billion. In North and South Carolina alone, the company's assets include 49 power plants (three of them nuclear). It is also a majority owner of 8 power plants in Latin America, and owns natural gas processing facilities across the United States and Canada.
In Canada, Duke Energy supplies almost 1.2 million customers in Ontario with natural gas via a transmission and distribution pipeline system that totals 40 600 km in length while its gathering and transmission system in western Canada comprises some 5700 km in length.
Through the Duke Energy Foundation (founded as the "Duke Power Foundation" in 1984), Duke Energy Corp supports the community at large focusing on educational attainment, competitive workforce, and community vitality. Through its gift-matching program, it supports charitable contributions of its employees, retirees and directors on a one-to-one basis.
The company is also a strong supporter of the annual United Way fundraising campaigns and in 2003, together with its employees, contributed $4.6 million in the US and close to $800 000 in Canada.