Duke Energy Joins OTD

September 7, 2014

Des Plaines, IL

Cooperative research in the natural gas industry is demonstrating its ability to meet the needs of energy customers, boost the benefits of natural gas as an energy source, and identify emerging needs and solutions. Operations Technology Development, NFP (OTD) is at the forefront of collaborative technology development and demonstration for natural gas distribution utilities, leveraging members’ resources and capabilities to address growing issues like aging infrastructure, new pipeline integrity regulations, climate change, environmental impacts, and alternative sources of supply.

Duke Energy recently joined the organization as the 23rd member to help tackle these challenges and drive a continuous effort to improve operating efficiencies. Duke is the largest electric power holding company in the United States, and provides natural gas distribution services to 500,000 gas customers in Ohio and Kentucky.

"We're very excited about becoming a member of OTD because they are addressing industry challenges by bringing together focused research initiatives with subject matter experts from across the nation," says John Hill, P.E., Director of Gas Engineering, Duke Energy Corporation. "This is a great opportunity to leverage our resources to work collaboratively with leading utilities across the U.S. and Canada."

OTD was established in 2003, and has grown to become recognized as the natural gas industry’s key source for technology development and product introduction, serving over 28 million natural gas consumers in 27 states and Canada. Through a unique structure, focused planning, and built-in flexibility, OTD addresses the industry’s major needs and research challenges.

In recent years, OTD helped to introduce new technologies for plastic-pipe location, leak detection, pipe inspection, information management, environmental issues, and other applications. The development of key data, software, and web-based information is also essential to maintaining the integrity of the natural gas infrastructure. Several projects also involve the incorporation of GPS and other information technologies to provide easy ways for companies to maintain databases, improve planning, and address costs. With safety always the industry’s top priority, most OTD efforts have a significant safety-improvement component. Others address codes, standards, environmental concerns, and regulatory-compliance issues by developing and presenting R&D results that help companies in meeting often complex government requirements.

The success of OTD is a trend that continues to gain momentum. "We're thrilled to add Duke Energy to our organization, the additional talent and resources they bring will help us continue our mission and provide value for natural gas utilities and ratepayers. New technology advances have enabled the industry to continually improve operations while reducing operating costs, not to mention enhancing safety and achieving considerable environmental benefits," notes OTD President Ron Snedic.

"With the dedicated support of our members, OTD will continue to deliver solutions for a safe, reliable, and more intelligent infrastructure that connects a new abundant natural gas supply with growing demand."

About Operations Technology Development (OTD)
OTD was established in 2003 as an Illinois not-for-profit company to facilitate voluntarily funded, collaborative research. OTD’s mission is to identify, select, fund, and oversee research projects resulting in innovative solutions and the improved safety, reliability, operational efficiency, and sustainability of gas systems.

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About Duke Energy
Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States with approximately $115 billion in total assets. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.2 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. Its commercial power and international energy business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK.