Duke Energy Files Carbon Plan IRP

Duke Energy Files Carbon Plan IRP 

For Immediate Release: August 17th, 2023

Media Contact: Karly Lohan, karlyl@sewind.org

Raleigh, N.C. – On August 17th, 2023, Duke Energy filed its combined Carbon Plan and IRP (CPIRP) proposal with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC). The Carbon Plan is mandated through HB951 and 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 NCUC’s 2022 Carbon Plan order recognized the need for advance planning of offshore wind, as well as the many benefits the technology provides to a clean grid. Instead of adopting offshore wind in the NCUC’s 2022 Carbon Plan order, Duke Energy was directed by the NCUC to evaluate the three wind energy areas (WEAs) off the coast of North Carolina before pursuing acquisition of a leasehold. The purpose of this analysis was to evaluate potential costs to acquire and develop offshore WEAs in Duke Energy’s region, as well as better understand the wind resource.

Offshore wind was not selected in Duke Energy’s recommended P3 portfolio through the end of 2038, and the companies’ near term activities do not include acquiring and developing a lease to make offshore wind available in North Carolina in the early 2030’s. However, P3 does keep the option for offshore wind development open in the late 2030s dependent upon supply chain and market conditions.

The Southeastern Wind Coalition (SEWC) acknowledges Duke Energy for their commitment towards providing customers and communities affordable, reliable, carbon-free energy as quickly as possible. However, omission of offshore wind and related near-term development activities in Duke Energy’s preferred portfolio curtails the immense economic opportunities and grid resiliency benefits available to North Carolina. As referenced throughout the 2022 Carbon Plan, wind energy will be a necessary component of a reliable carbon free grid, and given the extensive wind development experience worldwide, any future plan should recognize the generating diversity, capacity factors, and large scale development potential of offshore wind.

All three portfolios include at least 1,200MW of land based wind by 2033, a decisive move to ensure reliability and diversity in the Carolina’s energy mix. Duke Energy took substantial efforts to engage onshore wind developers and better understand the wind market in the Carolinas. Onshore wind offers numerous economic benefits to neighboring communities, and the complimentary generation profile to solar contributes to a diversified portfolio and resilient grid.

SEWC’s President Katharine Kollins issued the following statement regarding the CPIRP filing: “The Southeastern Wind Coalition will continue to work with Duke Energy and state leadership to advance the Governor’s goal of 2.8GW of offshore wind by 2030, which will bring economic development to the state while offering stable electricity prices with zero fuel cost. The Coalition looks forward to engaging in the 2024 Carbon Plan process and reducing barriers to near-term development activities to ensure that onshore and offshore wind are implemented to help create a diverse and resilient carbon-free grid.”

Kollins added: “A clear pathway to development is necessary to ensure that long-lead development activities can be put into motion, especially considering the limited time frame of federal tax credits implemented through the Inflation Reduction Act. At the end of the day, it is important to remember that offshore wind provides electricity when the Carolinas need it most: winter mornings and summer afternoons. Offshore wind is an absolutely necessary component of a clean, resilient grid for North Carolina.”

About SEWC 

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 supply chain growth, economic development, job growth, and wind energy development in the region with solutions that are beneficial to industry, utilities, and result in net economic benefits to citizens and ratepayers.  For more information about the Southeastern Wind Coalition visit http://www.sewind.org.

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