LUMBERTON — The collaborative spirit of North Carolina’s people was praised during the Robeson County Committee of 100’s annual dinner meeting.
David Fountain, North Carolina president for Duke Energy, was the guest speaker during the meeting Tuesday at the Southeastern North Carolina Agricultural Events Center. He spoke about how the state’s diverse people, ideas and resources come together to enhance communities’ vitality before a gathering of leaders in business, governmental and nonprofits.
Having grown up in rural Guilford County and being a lifelong North Carolinian, Fountain said it is that type of collaboration that makes Duke Energy proud to serve communities and families in this area. He said that was exemplified in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
Fountain said, as a whole, North Carolina is growing, with expectations of 20 percent growth between now and 2030. But growth isn’t uniform and different regions have different needs.
He said Duke Energy wants to make sure the tools to succeed are present in Lumberton, Robeson County and Eastern North Carolina. For Duke Energy, this means providing reliable and affordable power, but it also means the right infrastructure to attract and support growth.
In 2018, Fountain said, Duke Energy is focused more than ever on investing in the state’s energy and economic future by having the right assets ready. He addressed three key areas: Atlantic Coast Pipeline, grid modernization and economic and workforce development.
As natural gas plays an increasingly important role in the state’s economy, it’s critical the state has the infrastructure to keep pace, Fountain said, which is why Duke Energy is investing in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
Fountain said the electric grid is the backbone of today’s digital economy. With advancing technology and new customer-driven habits, the grid is challenged to meet new demands like never before. To build the energy future customers want, Fountain said Duke Energy is making strategic and targeted investments that will modernize the state’s energy infrastructure, and cited several examples.
In other business, James Gore reviewed projects the Committee of 100 has been involved with the past year and encouraged membership so the group can continue supporting economic development efforts for Robeson County. New officers for the Committee of 100 were announced. They are James Martin, chairman; Wayne Horne, vice chairman; and John McNeill, treasurer. Gore, the outgoing chairman, was recognized for his leadership for the past two years.
For information about the Robeson County Committee of 100 and membership, contact Executive Director Sylvia Pate at 910-618-1100.