Duke Energy Carolinas (formerly Duke Power) energizes the Carolinas as well as its parent company’s sales. A part of top US power firm Duke Energy, the regulated utility provides electricity services to about 2.4 million customers in North and South Carolina. Operating in a 24,000-square mile service territory, Duke Energy Carolinas has 101,400 miles of distribution cable. Its transmission system spans 13,100 miles. The utility has a net generating capacity of about 19,200 MW from interests in fossil-fueled, nuclear, and hydroelectric power plants. Duke Energy Carolinas also sells power to wholesale customers. The utility’s three nuclear plants account for more than a quarter of Duke Energy Carolinas’ generating capacity. Duke Energy Carolinas is investing $7 billion from 2010 to 2012 to expand its generating capacity and maintain its nuclear fuel and plants. By 2020 the company is looking to expand capacity by 5,400 MW, a strategy that brings new plants online while replacing older, less efficient ones. The global recession produced weaker demand for power (especially from industrial customers) which lowered company revenues in 2009. However, the same downturn cut fuel expenses (including purchased power from third parties) resulting in only a slight dip in Duke Energy Carolinas’ operating income. In 2010 the company saw its revenues rise, primarily due to new retail electric base rates in North Carolina and South Carolina, and favorable weather conditions which spurred demand. Duke Energy Carolinas also posted higher net income, despite an increase in fuel costs and expenses related to an employee voluntary severance plan.
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