The Triangle Community Coalition had another successful Coffee Chat with Duke Energy Management Team on April 22, 2015. Joining our members in an informal chat were Angie Arrington Ward, Herb Council, Carmen Prevette, Marty Clayton, Franky Batten and Pete Wehr.
We provided the Duke Energy team with a better perspective of the Triangle Community Coalition's goal to be a proactive partner in growth and land use issues and to work with senior staff and elected officials to develop policies, regulations, and procedures to encourage economic development, produce predictable (yet flexible) outcomes for all stakeholders, and protect the community's interests.
Duke Energy Management Team appreciated the TCC’s ability to offer objective facts and information in efforts to improve public policy debates and create effective working relationships between the business community and local government. We had some great interaction with the TCC membership in attendance and had opportunity to talk about the following:
· Randy King asked about the status of the Duke and Progress Energy merger.
o Marty Clayton, District Manager with Duke Energy, says merger is complete. Everyone seems to be engaged as a team and operating as a single company
o Franky Batten (Duke Energy) – many positives from merger. They are able to combine and shift resources as needed. Double the available resources in the Carolinas now
· Craig Duerr stated that the easement encroachments are more difficult now with Duke Energy than with Progress Energy. Progress seemed to be more flexible with their guidelines.
o Pete Wehr (Duke Energy) – There is currently an internal team looking at those issues; adjusting the guidelines
· Randy King – 4-5 years ago there was a joint trench coordinated between Duke Energy and PSNC.
No predictability at the moment.
· Jeremy Medlin – M/I Homes gives Duke Energy 6-7 months of lead time for the development. Still takes 2-3 months later for someone to set up power in the neighborhood.
o Would like to see more of a partnership between Duke Energy and builders and developers for economic development in the area. Currently, no dependability with the utility provider
· Rob Weintraub – Would like to have a point-of-contact at Duke Energy for design and construction customer service.
o Franky Batten – Currently assessing to see if Duke Energy can have someone dedicated for this effort
· Tom Anhut – When is Duke putting projects on the schedule?
o Duke Energy is seeing a 4-6 week delay to put projects on their schedule because of the increased requests
o Pete – 4 weeks for a turnaround time to get out to site. Design starts when plats are given to Duke Energy
· Franky Batten – Duke has added additional crews. Temporarily working 7 days/week.
Pulling crews from other areas.
· Duke Energy owns vast amounts of land. Plans to keep it for future expansion and growth needs.
· Jeremy Medlin – This industry will only get busier as summer starts. Many projects will be starting this summer.
o Tom Anhut – The Triangle is half way to where we were during the height of the market. This area will grow and continue to see more permits and development
· Tom Anhut – How does Duke Energy monitor future growth?
o Franky Batten – By looking at permits and applications, economic development trends
o Pete – See growth in SW Cary
o Currently not looking for new easements or site selections for substations
o Tom – Look at Planning & Zoning applications
· Action Items agreed by everyone:
o Would like to see a partnership between Duke Energy and PSNC for joint trenches
o Point of Contact for the building industry. Someone to answer questions and respond to project engineers and builders
o Improved system to verify construction readiness. Having more predictability with the process
If you are interested in participating in future meetings with Duke Energy or future Coffee Chats, watch for notices or contact the TCC offices at 919 812-7785 or Charlene Logan at email@example.com to reserve your spot!