Duke-Progress to hurry solutions on competition

By EMERY P. DALESIO
AP Business Writer

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- Executives of Duke Energy and Progress Energy say they'll need only about two weeks to address federal regulators' concerns that their merger will too heavily concentrate the Carolinas electric power market.

The two North Carolina-based utilities said Monday they won't need the 60 days the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave the companies to come up with solutions to the threat of diminished competition in North Carolina and South Carolina. Regulators said remedies could include selling power plants, building new transmission lines, or giving up control of their transmission system to a regional operator.

Opponents of the combination have 30 days to respond to whatever Duke Energy and Progress Energy propose.

The companies still want to close the deal by year's end.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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There IS no competition NOW! I live in Wilmington, and I have Progress Energy. I cannot buy electricity from anyone else, as I don't have that option. When I can choose my electric provider, THEN there will be competition in the marketplace.