Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy, has finished construction of a 12.5-megawatt solar power project in Beaufort County. The Washington White Post solar farm went into service in December.
The site has the ability to produce enough electricity to power about 3,000 homes.
This project fits well with our mission to provide affordable and increasingly clean energy to North Carolina, said Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers. North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency is purchasing the electricity generated at the solar farm through a 15-year agreement.
Mooresville-based SunEnergy1 designed the solar array and will handle operations, monitoring and maintenance of the system.
Other local companies involved include Huntersville-based Deatwyler Clean Energy, Bosch Solar Energy in Mooresville, and the Sustainable Energy Community Development Company in Davidson. Staff reports
American Express to cut 5,400 jobs
American Express Co. said Thursday that it will slash roughly 5,400 jobs, mainly in its travel business, as it seeks to cut costs and transform its operations as more of its customers shift to online portals for booking travel plans and other needs. The job cuts will be partly offset by jobs that the company expects to add this year, however.
All told, American Express anticipates that staffing levels will end up being between 4 percent and 6 percent lower this year than in 2012. The company currently has 63,500 employees.
Against the backdrop of an uneven economic recovery, these restructuring initiatives are designed to make American Express more nimble, more efficient and more effective in using our resources to drive growth, CEO Kenneth Chenault.
Shares slipped 14 cents to $60.65 in after-hours trading. Shares ended regular trading up 53 cents at $60.79.
American Express said it will book an after-tax charge of $287 million due to the restructuring. Its also recording $212 million in expenses related to reward points for its cardholders and roughly $95 million in customer reimbursements and other costs. The combined charges will reduce American Express fourth-quarter net income by 46 percent from a year earlier. - Associated Press
Gas prices expected to fall this year
At least gasoline should cost you less in 2013. Hamburger, health care and taxes are all set to take a bigger bite out of the family budget this year. But drivers annual gas bills are expected to drop for the first time in four years.
Forecasters say ample oil supplies and weak U.S. demand will keep a lid on prices. The average price of a gallon of gasoline will fall 5 percent to $3.44, according to the Energy Department.
Everything is lining up to lead to softer prices this year, said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service.
That would still be the third-highest average price ever. But a discount of 19 cents per gallon from 2012 would save the typical household $205 this year and free up $25 billion that could go instead to restaurants, malls or movie theaters the kind of consumer spending that accounts for 70 percent of American economic activity.
Forecasters caution that they cant predict other factors like Middle East tensions, refinery problems or hurricanes along the U.S. Gulf Coast in other words, the same events that caused gasoline prices to spike in 2011 and 2012. AP