Environment

Despite the moratorium, Duke Energy moving ahead on wind energy plans

(Illustration: Creative Commons)

Although Sen. Harry Brown put an 18-month kibosh on new wind farms in North Carolina, Duke Energy Carolinas announced it’s looking to buy 500 megawatts of wind energy by the end of 2022. The utility issued a Request for Proposals this week.

Duke Energy spokesman Randy Wheeless said that the utility had been working on the RFP for months, and the wind moratorium did not change its timing. The moratorium was inserted at the last-minute by Sen. Brown into House Bill 589, which originally focused solely on solar power.

In fact, if politics stymies the growth of wind power in North Carolina, Duke Energy could bypass the state entirely and import wind power from elsewhere. In 2011 and 2012, Duke Energy Carolinas purchased wind capacity from a farm in North Dakota. “If the price is attractive enough, it can be wheeled from faraway states,” Wheeless said. “That’s the purpose of the RFP — to see what the market looks like.”

According to the RFP, bidders could sell wind power to Duke Energy; build a new wind farm, which Duke would then buy, or sell the utility an existing facility.

Under the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, investor-owned utilities like Duke must purchase or generate 6 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources. That amount increases to 10 percent next year and 12.5 percent in 2021.

Since the wind power won’t be delivered until 2022, that won’t help Duke meet its REPS requirements. However, Wheeless said that the utility is on track to meet those benchmarks even without wind

Duke already owns 20 wind farms nationwide, generating in total about 2,500 megawatts of power, equivalent to the amount of electricity for half a million homes.

 

Check Also

Chemours plant in Fayetteville is leaking like a sieve, this time into the air

Late this afternoon, the state Department of Environmental ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

The controversy over “Silent Sam,” the Confederate monument on UNC’s Chapel Hill campus, has been ra [...]

North Carolina tries to mine its swine and deal with a poop problem that keeps piling up A blanket o [...]

This story is part of "Peak Pig," an examination of the hog industry co-published with Env [...]

Few issues in the North Carolina’s contentious policy wars have been more consistently front and cen [...]

Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a jaw-dropping civil rights lawsuit again [...]

Will Burr and Tillis really vote for this? For much of the 20th Century, one of the labels that Amer [...]

President Trump and Congressional Republicans aim to rebrand enormous tax cuts for the wealthiest ho [...]

20—number of years since a bipartisan coalition in Congress passed the Children’s Health Insurance P [...]

Spotlight on Journalism

We invite you to join a special celebration of investigative journalism! The evening will feature Mike Rezendes, a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe Spotlight Team known for their coverage of the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Tickets available NOW!

Spotlight On Journalism

This event will benefit NC Policy Watch, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center. Sponsorship opportunities available now!

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more