Duke Energy

Duke Energy's history began with the Catawba Power Company in the early 1900s. Dr. W. Gill Wylie, James Buchanan Duke and William States Lee founded the company because they felt the South's heavy dependence on agriculture was prohibiting growth of other industries  and so they envisioned an integrated electric system of hydro-powered generating stations.

They took the first big step toward this goal in 1904 when the Catawba Hydro Station in South Carolina began providing electricity to Victoria Cotton Mills. Over the next several years, the company's hydroelectric fleet continued to grow to serve not only commercial textile mills, but the entire region's growing appetite for electricity.

The company's leaders also felt strongly about giving back to the communities they served. Their strong philanthropic commitment advanced the region's quality of life by funding health care and education in the Carolinas. It’s a tradition that lives on today. The Duke Energy Foundation targets investments in areas where it believes the company can have the greatest impact on the well-being of our communities  the environment, economic and workforce development, education and community vitality.

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