This month’s lunch and learn program, presented by the Chamber, featured Mindy Taylor, District Manger, of Progress Energy. She spoke about the merger of Progress Energy and Duke Energy, two leading power companies. The merge began in January of 2011 and has taken a year and half to complete. The new logo and name will begin to appear towards “the end of April,” said Taylor.The new name customers will be seeing is: Duke Energy Progress.
Since the merger, Duke Energy Progress is regulated in six states and is now the second largest energy company world wide, she said. Duke Energy Progress prides itself in the constructive, responsible energy policies it promotes and its innovation to shape the the future, Taylor said.
Together, these two energy companies boast a combined total of 107 years of service, and more than 700,000 retail customers in South Carolina. Also, 50 percent of the company’s nuclear units are located in South Carolina. As the merge took place, 9,400 new jobs were created in the Carolinas, she said. Along with the $16 million invested in education and the almost $113 million paid in property taxes show that Duke Energy Progress is not only dedicated to the community but that it is “fully invested,” said Taylor.
A question about solar power and the regulation of it, by Cheraw Mayor Andy Ingram, prompted Taylor to explain the company’s view. Taylor said that new regulation, in the works to be passed, will mandate that all companies and/or person harvesting solar energy to sale for profit will be under the same stipulations and laws that big energy companies are already required to follow. Taylor went on to say that Duke Energy Progress supports solar energy, however solar energy is currently very expensive. Some of those expenses would have to be passed on to the customer, she said. Taylor states that there should be a “mix of different energy sources” to keep the cost to customers stable. Also, some of the coal-fired units that were still in place before the merge, were either down-sized or turned into natural gas units, again to benefit the customer and environment, Taylor said.
Since the new name and logo will be taking effect by the end of April, Taylor brought some energy saving coil light bulbs, with the Progress Energy logo on them, as small reminders that Progress Energy hasn’t burnt out but instead will shine brighter and provide better service to its loyal customers, she said.