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Duke Energy Focus on Carolinas

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Duke Energy Corporation’s (DUK - Free Report) regulated utility subsidiary Duke Energy Carolinas is asking for bids for electricity produced by wind energy and renewable energy certificates from wind generation from facilities located within North Carolina. Bids would be accepted no later than October 14, 2011.

The focus of Duke Energy towards wind based electricity and certificates come on the heel of its move towards compliance with the North Carolina Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard. Proposals from qualified bidders will be evaluated based on cost and other factors. Duke seeks offers of renewable energy certificates from facilities which are operational prior to December 31, 2014.

Duke Energy Carolinas owns nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas and hydroelectric generation. That diverse fuel mix provides approximately 19,000 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 2.4 million customers in a 24,000-square-mile service area of North Carolina and South Carolina.

Duke Energy’s, in the Carolinas, will also receive a boost when the ongoing merger proceedings with Progress Energy Inc. are completed. Earlier in January 2011, both companies have unanimously approved the definitive merger agreement to combine the two companies in a stock-for-stock transaction. Duke Energy expects the merger would enable the customers to save $600-800 million in fuel costs in the Carolinas over the next five years.

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Duke Energy Corp. is a diversified energy company with a portfolio of domestic and international, natural gas and electric, regulated and unregulated businesses. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 4 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, comprising a population of approximately 11 million.

Duke Energy’s stable U.S. electricity and gas operations provide a relatively stable and growing earnings stream. Looking ahead, higher rates through recent settlement agreements in Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina will stand the company’s long-term goal of 4%–6% earnings growth in good stead.

Duke Energy’s Commercial Power and International Business segment own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the U.S.

Duke Energy currently has a short term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold), which translates into a long-term Neutral recommendation for the stock.

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