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Dominion Energy sells North Carolina gas business to Canadian company

FILE - A sign stands at Dominion Energy's coal fired power plant along the James River on April 29, 2015, in Chester, Va.
Steve Helber
FILE - A sign stands at Dominion Energy's coal fired power plant along the James River on April 29, 2015, in Chester, Va.

Dominion Energy is selling its natural gas business in North Carolina to a Canadian company. The $14 billion transaction also includes gas utilities in the Midwest and Rocky Mountains.

Dominion delivers natural gas to half-a-million customers in the Triangle, suburban Charlotte, and the western part of the state. Virginia-based Dominion purchased the gas business — formerly known as Public Service Company of North Carolina — in 2019. The other utilities in the transaction are the East Ohio Gas Company and Questar Gas Company. Both serve customers in Ohio, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.

The new owner is Enbridge. Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, its business is largely focused on managing gas and oil pipelines. The deal will make it North America's largest natural gas provider, according to CEO Greg Ebel.

"We remain firmly of the view that all forms of energy will be required for a safe and reliable energy transition," Ebel told investors in a Tuesday conference call. "This transaction helps to achieve greater balance and gives us increased exposure to natural gas which is and will continue to be the critical fuel to help realize our lower carbon aspirations."

Dominion CEO Robert Blue said the sale is part of a long-term business review as the company focuses on its core electricity business.

"Today's announcement further highlights Dominion Energy's premier state-regulated, electric utilities that operate in some of the most attractive regions in the country," Blue said in a statement. "Data center expansion, bolstered by artificial intelligence, along with electrification, and general economic activity are driving the most significant demand growth in our company's history and shows no signs of abating."

U.S. and Canadian regulators — including the North Carolina Utilities commission — will have to sign off on the deal, which is projected to close by the end of 2024.

Bradley George is WUNC's AM reporter. A North Carolina native, his public radio career has taken him to Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville and most recently WUSF in Tampa. While there, he reported on the COVID-19 pandemic and was part of the station's Murrow award winning coverage of the 2020 election. Along the way, he has reported for NPR, Marketplace, The Takeaway, and the BBC World Service. Bradley is a graduate of Guilford College, where he majored in Theatre and German.