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Reader photo by Tad Little
Smoking
Lake Julian Park, Arden, N.C., Jan. 29, 2011

Photographer’s notebook

I was driving down Long Shoals Road, when I passed Lake Julian and noticed the mist over the water. I stopped at Lake Julian Park to try to capture the image. This particular scene caught my eye because of the contrast between the soft beauty of the lake and the rising mist in the morning light with the hard lines of the Progress Energy power plant and sign in the water. The picture was taken at f/25 at 1/30-second exposure, focal length 17 mm.

Tad Little, Greensboro
More photos by Tad

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Editor’s note:

Raleigh-based Progress Energy emerged in the news when, on Jan. 10, it and Charlotte-based Duke Power announced a proposal to merge (Progress Energy press release here). If approved, the $13.7 merger will create the nation’s largest utility, to be known as Duke Power, and will serve about 7.1 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.

This coal-fired plant pictured in Tad’s image has been in Arden since 1964 and is the largest taxpayer in Buncombe County, according to the plant’s website. The company currently has about 10,000 full-time employees and serves about 3.1 million people in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.

The merger is subject reviews and approvals of shareholders and a variety of state and federal agencies, including the North Carolina Utilities Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Lawsuits by a variety of consumer and environmental groups have already been filed and consumers have expressed concerns about rate hikes. According to a news release from Progress Energy, it and Duke Power want the merger to be completed by the end of the year, and the company will then be based in Charlotte.

The two companies currently provide service to customers in all 17 Western North Carolina counties. Progress Energy serves customers in Avery, Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, McDowell, Madison, Mitchell and Yancey counties. Duke Energy serves customers in Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Henderson, Jackson, McDowell, Macon, Polk, Rutherford, Swain and Transylvania counties.

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Related coverage, elsewhere:
Investors warm to big deals (Wall Street Journal, Feb. 11)

Fast-track financing challenged (Charlotte Observer, Feb. 10)

Duke, Progress merger faces lawsuits (News & Record, Jan. 20)

Duke Energy set to buy Progress Energy (News & Observer, Jan. 9)
Coalition of consumer, environmental groups call on Duke/Progress Energy to stop rate hikes (Mtn. Xpress, Feb. 8)

Angie Newsome

Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at anewsome@carolinapublicpress.org.

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