By Charlotte Business Journal

Wouter van Kempen will step down as the head of Duke Energy Generation Services at the end of July.

Keith Trent, head of all Duke Energy Corp.â¿¿s commercial businesses and van Kempenâ¿¿s boss, will assume his duties.

Duke Energy Generation builds and operates power plants. Van Kempen took over the division in 2006 and has since developed a commercial renewable-energy business for Duke (NYSE:DUK).

He built Duke into the nationâ¿¿s 10th-largest operator of wind-power generators and last year established its commercial solar business.

Van Kempen is relocating to become president and chief development officer at DCP Midstream. The Denver-based company is a joint venture of Spectra Energy Corp. (NYSE:SE) and ConocoPhillips Co. (NYSE:COP). Itâ¿¿s one of the nationâ¿¿s largest processors and distributors of natural gas and liquid natural gas.

Trent says van Kempen⿿s departure isn⿿t part of cost-cutting efforts at Duke. ⿿Wouter is an incredible leader and an asset,⿝ he says. ⿿He saw this as a great opportunity and we all wish him success with it.⿝

Trent says DEGS, and particularly its renewables business, remain important to Duke. He decided to take van Kempenâ¿¿s departure as an opportunity to understand the business better and evaluate the division leaders in DEGS.

All of van Kempenâ¿¿s executives will report directly to Trent. They include Tony Dorazio, head of wind development; Greg Wolf, who runs the commercial solar business; Jason Allen, vice president of operations; and Phil Grigsby, who oversees traditional power generators in the Midwest.

Trent may replace van Kempen later. ⿿But for the near term, I am comfortable taking over his duties.⿝

Trent has long had an interest in the renewables segment. He was active in the decision to move DEGS into that business when he was Dukeâ¿¿s chief strategy, policy and regulatory officer.

Van Kempen gained experience with gas operations when Duke had a pipeline division. Duke spun those operations off into Spectra Energy in 2006 after Duke merged with Cinergy Corp.

DEGS and Duke are based in Charlotte.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals

Copyright 2010