Duke Energy is a John Wayne-sized power business. It serves electric and gas customers in the South and Midwest. Its US Franchised Electric and Gas unit operates through its Duke Energy Carolinas, Duke Energy Ohio, Progress EnergyDuke, Duke Energy Progress, Duke Energy Florida, Duke Energy Indiana and Duke Energy Kentucky regional businesses. The company has 57,500 MW of electric generating capacity from diverse mix of coal, nuclear, natural gas, oil, and renewable resources. Duke Energy also has domestic commercial and international power assets. The company serves 7.3 million electric retail customers in the Southeast and Midwest. It also has some limited insurance, real estate, and telecom assets.
The company has retail energy customers in Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, and South Carolina. Its US service area covers 95,000 square miles with an estimated population of 23 million. It also has commercial power plants in the US as well as in Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Peru.
Duke Energy operates through in major business segments; Regulated Utilities, International Energy, and Commercial Power.
Duke Energy has 7.3 million electric utility customers and 500,000 gas customers in the US. It has about 11,690 MW of US-based commercial power capacity and the largest nuclear generating fleet in the country. It also has about 4,900 MW of power capacity outside of the US (in Latin America).
In 2014 the company’s revenues decreased by 3% due to decline in the performance of the International Energy and others segment, which were negatively impacted by higher tax expense resulting from the decision to repatriate historical undistributed foreign earnings, unfavorable hydrology and exchange rates in Brazil, and an unplanned outage in Chile. These were partially offset by higher equity earnings by the National Methanol Company and a 2013 net currency re-measurement loss in Latin America.
Duke Energy’s net income decreased by 29% in 2014 due to a drop in net revenues and an increase in operating expenses as a result of higher costs of fuel used in electric generation and purchased power, and depreciation and amortization expenses.
In 2014 the company's cash flow increased by 3% due to changes in working capital as result of net realized and unrealized mark-to-market and hedging transactions and changes in receivables.
To raise cash to pay down debt, in 2015 Duke Energy Ohio sold its non-regulated Midwest Commercial Generation Business to Dynegy. The transaction includes ownership interests in 11 power plants and the company’s competitive retail business in Ohio. About $1.5 billion will be used to repurchase shares of the company’s common stock through an accelerated share repurchase program. The remainder will be used to pay down holding company debt and fund 2015 capital investments.
Since 2007, Duke Energy has invested more than $3 billion to grow its commercial wind and solar business, pursuing a strategy of developing green energy sources to shrink its carbon footprint to meet regulatory requirements. In 2014 it signed a long-term agreement to service Pattern Energy’s 283-MW Gulf Wind energy project in Armstrong, Texas. Duke Energy Renewable Services has also provided service and maintenance work at Pattern Energy’s Hatchet Ridge wind site in Burney, California.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2014, Duke Energy Renewables acquired a 20-MW solar project in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, from Geenex and ET Solar Energy Corp. The solar project will inject an estimated $75 million into Halifax County between 2014 and 2029.
Growing its solar footprint in California, in 2013 Duke Energy Renewables acquired a 4.5 MW solar project, the largest solar generation facility in San Francisco, from solar project developer Recurrent Energy. That year it also bought the 21-megawatt Highlander solar power projects in Twentynine Palms, California. All told, Duke Energy Renewables has more than 100 MW of solar generating capacity (16 solar farms in the US).