For Immediate Release: Jan 3, 2023
Media Contact: Katharine Kollins, firstname.lastname@example.org
Raleigh, N.C. – On December 30th, Duke Energy filed its final 2022 Carolinas Carbon Plan with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) – a clean energy plan mandated through HB951 that requires the NCUC to take ‘all reasonable steps’ to achieve 70 percent carbon emissions reductions from 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 using a least-cost approach.
The Southeastern Wind Coalition (SEWC) acknowledges Duke Energy and the NCUC for their commitment towards providing customers and communities affordable, reliable, carbon-free energy as quickly as possible. However, the approved version of the Carbon Plan does not guarantee that the state’s carbon reduction goals will be met as mandated in HB951. As referenced throughout the plan, wind energy will be a necessary component of a reliable carbon free grid, and given the extensive development experience worldwide with wind, any future plan should recognize the generating diversity, capacity factors, and large scale development potential of offshore wind. SEWC urges the NCUC and all stakeholders to fully consider provisions in the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 that lower the cost of land-based and offshore wind.
SEWC anticipates continued stakeholder engagement as Duke Energy studies the acquisition and development of wind lease areas off the coast of North Carolina, as well as conducts updated modeling that considers utility-owned land based wind as required through the NCUC’s order. Nearly all scenarios and stakeholders agree that about 600MW of onshore wind should be pursued for the 2030 timeline, and that the utility will own any land-based wind generation and that they should proceed with developer discussions to determine feasibility and willingness to develop. SEWC looks forward to working through these processes with the utility as an engaged stakeholder. While we are disappointed by the lack of commitment to offshore wind in the order, we appreciate that the NCUC recognizes the long lead time for offshore wind, and has allowed for early stage planning activities to commence.
SEWC’s President Katharine Kollins issues the following statement regarding final Carolinas Carbon Plan:
“We will continue to work with Duke Energy and state leadership to ensure development on a timeline that advances the Governor’s goal of 2.8GW of offshore wind by 2030, brings unparalleled economic investment to the state, and offers competitive electricity prices to Duke Energy customers. More importantly, we look forward to engaging early and often with the 2024 Carbon Plan process to ensure that both onshore and offshore wind are implemented to help create a diverse and resilient carbon-free grid.”
Duke Energy will continue working with stakeholders and regulators to check and adjust the plan every two years, incorporating technology advancements, updated cost forecasts, and potential federal funding to ensure ongoing affordability and reliability. All of these investments support North Carolina’s transition to a carbon free grid while creating good-paying jobs and significant economic growth.
The Southeastern Wind Coalition is a 501(c)3 that works to advance the land-based and offshore wind industry in the Southeast. We focus on providing fact-based information on the economic and environmental opportunities of wind energy, and encourage solutions that result in net economic benefits to residents and ratepayers. For more information about the Southeastern Wind Coalition visit www.sewind.org.