Duke EnergyDuke Energy Carolinas filed a status update yesterday informing the Public Service Commission of South Carolina the company has signed a letter of intent with Santee Cooper for a potential minority interest (5 to 10 percent of the capacity of the two units) in Santee Cooper’s 45 percent ownership of the planned new nuclear reactors at V.C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station in South Carolina.

The letter of intent provides a path for Duke Energy to conduct the necessary due diligence to determine if future participation in this project would be beneficial for its customers.

Duke Energy Carolinas has been exploring various regional generation opportunities to meet future customer needs for safe, clean, reliable and affordable electricity. The agreement with Santee Cooper is a positive step in that direction.

In addition to exploring this regional generation project, Duke Energy continues work on development activities for its proposed Lee Nuclear Station and anticipates receiving its combined construction and operating license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the 2013 time frame.

Duke Energy Carolinas owns nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas and hydroelectric generation. That diverse fuel mix provides approximately 19,000 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 2.4 million customers in a 24,000-square-mile service area of North Carolina and South Carolina.