Duke Energy Looking To Sell Miami Fort, 12 Other Plants

Posted On February 18, 2014

By Mike Perleberg

Duke Energy's Miami Fort power plant. file photo

Duke Energy’s Miami Fort power plant.
file photo

(North Bend, Oh.) – Duke Energy is planning to sell 13 power plants in the Midwest, with the Miami Fort plant among them.

Eleven of the generating stations are in Ohio, one in Illinois, and one in Pennsylvania. The plants use coal, oil, and natural gas to power their generators.

The Miami Fort plant – located on the Ohio River near the Indiana-Ohio state line, in view of motorists crossing the river on the I-275 Carroll Cropper Bridge – includes both coal and natural gas facilities. The coal facility there is partially owned by DP&L.

Business news publication Bloomberg reports that the power plants could be sold for as much as $2 billion.

Why is Duke Energy looking to sell the facilities that generate a combined 6,600 megawatts of electricity? The company points to Ohio utility regulators rejecting a $729 million rate increase request on February 13. The increase would have helped the company cover a shortfall between power-plant costs and wholesale electricity prices, Bloomberg reported.

“Our merchant power plants have delivered volatile returns in the challenging competitive market in the Midwest,” said Lynn Good, president, CEO and vice chairman of Duke Energy, in a news release. “This earnings profile is not a strategic fit for Duke Energy and we have begun a process to exit the business.”

“We will be working closely with employees and community leaders during this transition to ensure a smooth process for all stakeholders,” she added.

The company will continue to manage utilities in Ohio and Kentucky, with the Duke Energy name remaining on customers’ bills and Duke crews still maintaining and repairing power lines and substations.

“We remain fully committed to our Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky regulated utilities and the 1.3 million customers we serve in those states. These utilities are not a part of this strategic process,” Good said.

The utility company expects the sale process to take 12 to 18 months. The plants will continue to operate during that time, said Marc Manly, president of Duke Energy’s Commercial Businesses.