Minority firms get 1 pct of $1B Duke Energy coal ash work


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Duke Energy Corp. is making changes that could make it easier for black, female and other minority-owned construction and hauling firms to compete for work on its multibillion-dollar project to excavate and close coal-ash storage pits.

Under pressure from its state regulator, the giant U.S. electricity company announced last week that it will double the weight it places on diverse and local suppliers landing contracts.

The move comes after the utility said in regulatory filings that only about 1 percent of the more than $1 billion it has spent on fixing its coal-ash problems in North Carolina went to its top 10 contractors owned by women, veterans or minorities.

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