Duke Energy Progress has filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for approval to purchase the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency's (NCEMPA) generating assets.
The FERC filing, made on Oct. 10, is an important milestone of the nearly $1.2 billion transaction with the agency, which was announced July 28.
NCEMPA currently maintains partial ownership interest in several Duke Energy Progress plants, including Brunswick Nuclear Plant Units 1 and 2 (Brunswick County), Mayo Plant (Person County), Roxboro Plant Unit 4 (Person County) and the Harris Nuclear Plant (Wake County).
The power agency's ownership interest in these plants represents about 700 MW of generating capacity. NCEMPA members' distribution assets are not part of the agreement, and will continue to be owned and maintained by those members.
Duke Energy Progress is required to receive approval from FERC for the asset purchase agreement (APA) to acquire the power agency's ownership interest in the utility's plants, as well as associated fuel inventories and spare parts.
In addition, FERC approval is required for Duke Energy Progress to enter into a 30-year wholesale power supply agreement with NCEMPA to continue meeting the needs of NCEMPA customers currently served by the power agency’s interest in Duke Energy Progress' plants.
The filing with FERC details the terms of the transaction, as well as an economic analysis of the purchase price and benefits to Duke Energy Progress customers. Those benefits include long-term energy-related cost savings and increased fuel diversity, as well as expanded wholesale load being served by the utility through the new wholesale agreement with NCEMPA. All of these benefits can help to keep Duke Energy Progress customers' bills lower over time.
In addition to the FERC review, additional filings and reviews will be required with the N.C. Utilities Commission, Public Service Commission of South Carolina and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Duke Energy Progress and NCEMPA will work diligently to close the transaction as quickly as possible. Under the terms of the agreement, approvals must be received and the transaction completed by the end of 2016. Ultimately, the timing of the transaction will be determined by the approval process.