Duke Energy wins FERC approval to buy NCEMPA power plants

Duke Energy Progress wins approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to proceed with plans to purchase the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency's (NCEMPA) generating assets.

The FERC ruling was based on a filing made by Duke Energy Progress on Oct. 10, 2014.

The ruling is an important milestone of the nearly $1.2-billion transaction with NCEMPA, announced July 28, 2014.

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.

FERC approval of the asset purchase agreement (APA) was necessary for Duke Energy Progress 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 was 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. FERC also approved inclusion of the transaction in power supply contracts for certain other wholesale customers.

Now that the FERC review is complete, Duke Energy Progress and NCEMPA will pursue required state approvals, as well as the approval of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  

Duke Energy Progress and NCEMPA will work to close the transaction as quickly as possible, with a target to close by the end of 2015.

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 remaining approval process.

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