September 10, 2018 Read More →

Duke Energy outlines coal phase-out plans

The Charlotte Observer:

Duke Energy plans to close its seven North Carolina coal plants during the next 30 years, according to filings this week with state regulators.

Those plans include calling for the Allen Steam Station, just outside of Charlotte in Gaston County, to close in 10 years, according to Duke. Coal plants like Allen are made up of different coal units, which are projected to close at different times. The first three units at Allen are expected to close even sooner — by 2024.

“As we lower our carbon footprint, Duke Energy is increasingly moving away from coal-fired generation and we are not including the addition of coal-fired generation going forward,” said Meredith Archie, spokeswoman for Duke.

“This is not a Duke Energy phenomenon,” said David Doctor of E4 Carolinas, an association for Carolinas energy sector members. “This is a national phenomenon.” Utilities can retire coal plants and then add solar, wind and waste energy or natural gas plants to their systems, putting new capital on their books that will help them maintain their earnings, Doctor said.

Duke’s final N.C. coal unit retirement is expected to occur in 2048 at the Rogers Energy Complex in Cliffside. That unit six opened in 2012 and “is one of the cleanest coal-powered plants in the United States,” according to Duke’s website.

Duke’s 15-year projections fit in with the company’s sustainability goal to reduce “carbon emissions by more than 40 (percent) from 2005 levels by 2030. The plans accomplish this goal, despite serving more customer demand over the planning period and without federal or state carbon mandates,” the filing said.

More: Duke Energy plans to close all of its NC coal plants. But it’ll take a while.

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