Duke gets more time on North Carolina trade secret order

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) is getting more time to respond to a North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) order to make public several thousand pages of documents that NCUC says don’t merit “trade secret” protection.

Facing an Oct. 29 deadline to make the documents public, Duke filed a motion Oct. 25 seeking a seven-day extension, until Nov. 5. NCUC approved Duke’s request the same day.

NCUC called for massive disclosure of documents Oct. 19. Duke has sought to keep many documents under seal in connection with the NCUC investigation of Duke’s July merger with Progress Energy.

NCUC had been caught off guard when the executive that was scheduled to become CEO of the merged company, ex-Progress Energy CEO Bill Johnson, was forced to resign only hours after the merger was consummated.

The NCUC said it is not convinced that many of the documents at issue should be considered a trade secret.  The NCUC said it is not persuaded that any person or business would benefit economically from the disclosure of the information.

Duke said it needs the seven additional days to sift through all the documents and determine if it should file some type of appeal. The commission’s public staff has been consulted and does not object to the time extension, Duke said in its motion.

The commission’s investigation into the conduct of the merger is Docket No.E-7, Sub1017.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.