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Duke Energy Layoffs: 'Limited' Staff Cuts Amid Clean Energy Transition

January 23, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

Duke Energy confirmed "limited" layoffs amid the company's clean energy transition, according to multiple news reports. Duke Energy did not disclose specific job cut numbers, or the timing and locations for those layoffs.

In a statement sent to multiple media outlets, the company said: “Duke Energy is entering the next phase of its clean energy transition, which calls for a transformative expansion and modernization of our energy generation and grid. In preparation, we are reorganizing for greater efficiency and cost effectiveness to deliver smarter energy solutions that are affordable, reliable and cleaner for our customers and communities. As a result, we expect limited workforce impacts across our service territories.”

Details about Duke Energy's 2024 layoffs surfaced from The Charlotte Observer newspaper, Queen City News and WBTV. The 2024 layoff chatter arrived roughly one year after Duke Energy laid off a few hundred employees in February 2023, according to Charlotte Business Journal.

Related: See more energy transition layoffs listed here.

Duke Energy Business Focus, Clean Energy Transition Goals

Duke Energy, founded around 1900 as Catawba Power Company, is based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The company employed 27,600 people as of early January 2023.

On the electric utilities front, the company serves 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively owns 50,000 megawatts of energy capacity. On the natural gas front, the company serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky.

Lynn J. Good, CEO, Duke Energy

On the sustainability front, the company is striving to achieve:

  • Net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business by 2030;
  • net-zero carbon emissions from electricity generation by 2050;
  • 50% carbon emission reduction from electric generation by 2030;
  • 50% for Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 upstream and downstream emissions by 2035; and
  • 80% carbon emission reduction from electric generation by 2040, the company said.

In addition, the company is "investing in major electric grid enhancements and energy storage, and exploring zero-emission power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear."

Previous Clean Energy Asset Sale, Next Earnings Statement

Still, the business evolution also involved a clean energy asset sale to strengthen the company's balance sheet. Specifically, the company sold its Commercial Renewables business to Brookfield Renewable in June 2023. The deal had an enterprise value of approximately $2.8 billion, including non-controlling tax equity interests and the assumption of debt. Duke Energy’s net proceeds were roughly $1.1 billion, the company estimated in June 2023.

Duke Energy ($DUK), led by CEO Lynn J. Good, is scheduled to announce Q4 financial results on February 8, 2024.

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