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Leading the Charge: Charlotte’s Energy Sector
From alternative energy startups and engineering firms to multinationals working on nuclear energy projects, Charlotte’s energy sector represents a large cross-section of the local economy. Anchored by titans such as Duke Energy, Siemens and AREVA, the industry’s success is built on a foundation of capabilities: an ample and able workforce, reliable and affordable energy resources, and a diversified supplier network.
Charlotte’s energy industry remains strong because of the region’s high level of specialization and focus on fostering synergy and collaboration. Charlotte’s energy industry can be classified into three sectors: services and construction, manufacturing, and generation and distribution. Services and construction firms employ the majority of professionals in the energy industry followed by manufacturing and energy generation and distribution.
Energy Sector Employment
Services and Construction: Energy Sector Employment | Jobs: 24,514 | Average Wages: $64,114
Manufacturing: Energy Sector Employment | Jobs: 5,111 | Average Wages: $69,424
Generation and Distribution: Energy Sector Employment | Jobs: 6,890 | Average Wages: $106,517
MANUFACTURING continues to be a cornerstone of the Charlotte regional economy – Mecklenburg County is the largest manufacturing county by total employment in the state. Energy manufacturing is a substantial portion of that base. The Charlotte metro is a leading exporter of engine and power equipment, as mentioned in a 2016 Brookings Institution report. The highest concentrations of employment are in turbine generator manufacturing, primary battery manufacturing and wiring device manufacturing. Companies in this sector, including Siemens and SPX, are creating cutting-edge products used by energy cluster companies and their consumers. Battery manufacturing also has a strong hold in the Charlotte area with companies such as Alevo, Celgard, and FMC Corp.
GENERATION AND DISTRIBUTION round out the Charlotte region’s dynamic energy cluster. The sector includes companies engaged in fossil fuel, hydroelectric and nuclear power distribution, along with natural gas distribution. Duke Energy, the country’s largest electric power holding company, and Piedmont Natural Gas are two of the major players in the sector that provide critical services to a vast region.
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To purchase a database of more than 200 Charlotte-area energy companies compiled by the Chamber, visit our online store.