Duke Energy delivers big news for Charlotte - | WBTV Charlotte

Duke Energy delivers big news for Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Believe it or not, there was news breaking today even bigger than the weather.

The Queen City is getting a new crown.

Duke Energy's all-stock purchase of Raleigh's Progess Energy will make Charlotte headquarters of the nation's biggest electric utility, with over seven million customers.

Don't be fooled by the snow and ice...Charlotte is getting hotter.

"We're now home to the largest utility in the country, which is a great stamp on our ambition to become one of the energy capitals of the United States," says Charlotte Chamber of Commerce head Bob Morgan.

The merger will act like a balm to the public relations wound Charlotte has suffered as Bank Town.

In fact, Duke Energy CEO Jim Rodgers hopes it'll be a cure. Sitting, recently, among banking big wigs like BofA's Brian Moynihan at an economic outlook conference for the city, Rodgers struck a defiant tone, saying the only thing that would help us is major change.

"We are going to have to have a complete structural change in our economy." Rogers said.

Says Morgan, "Jim Rogers has suggested to us that there were big things in store for Charlotte as an energy capital."

And today he delivered.

The merger still needs to be approved, which could take up to a year. And, like most mergers, it will eventually involve some layoffs as the companies combine. But city leaders like Morgan think the move will ultimately mean more work for the city in the energy sector.

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