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Keep Duke Energy together, Marion County Commissioners call on Gov. DeSantis for support

During the Marion County Board of County Commissioners meeting Tuesday, board members discussed...
During the Marion County Board of County Commissioners meeting Tuesday, board members discussed what could happen if Duke Energy agreed to make some big changes.(WCJB)
Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 7:16 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - One of north central Florida’s biggest utilities is resisting calls for change-- and they are asking for help.

During the Marion County Board of County Commissioners meeting Tuesday, board members discussed what could happen if Duke Energy agreed to make some big changes.

At the beginning of May, one of Duke Energy’s biggest investors, Elliott Investment Management, sent a letter to the energy company’s board of directors proposing that the company separate into three regionally focused utility entities.

Florida would become its own division.

In the letter officials state that Duke Energy could create between $12 to $15 billion dollars of value if they made the switch.

But Duke Energy officials released a statement saying they don’t feel the same, and this matters in north central Florida.

According to Marion County Commissioners, Duke Energy employs 100 people in the county and based on 2019 property tax data, generated nearly $3.5 million dollars.

The County Administrator told the board that Duke Energy contacted them directly asking for the county’s support.

“I’m in support of Duke Energy staying as a whole entity based on the resources that they’re able to provide us. Otherwise there’s a whole lot of loss that Marion County could sustain,” Commissioner Michelle Stone said during the meeting.

The board unanimously agreed on a resolution to request the support of the governor and the Florida Public Service Commission to oppose this break-up.

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