CHARLOTTE, NC — “Duke Energy Corp.’s $4.9 billion purchase of Piedmont Natural Gas Co., set to close next week, will accelerate the utility owner’s shift away from coal, Chief Executive Officer Lynn Good said.
Duke will be able to build out Piedmont’s pipeline system to support its transition to gas-fired generation, a shift that’ll eventually eliminate coal entirely from its diet, Good said Wednesday in an interview at Bloomberg headquarters in New York. The company announced an Oct. 3 closing date Thursday in statement after the deal got final approval from North Carolina.
The CEO is setting up Duke for the day when coal is no longer part of the equation at the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company as policies to tackle climate change gain momentum. By 2030, under the government’s Clean Power Plan, coal-based electricity generation will fall by 28 percent and renewables will surpass it in the country’s power mix, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
“I think we’ll still be operating coal in 2030,” Good said. “Whether we will be in 2040 I think is a question, or in 2050.'”
— Jim Polson and Tim Loh, Bloomberg Markets