Duke Energy is asking the North Carolina Utilities Commission to approve an “all of the above” approach to reducing carbon emissions that would see new renewable electricity generation brought online in addition to new natural gas and nuclear facilities.
Monday, the Charlotte-based utility filed the first version of its carbon reduction plan. Last year’s House Bill 951 required that Duke craft the plan and that its first iteration receive approval from the Utilities Commission by the end of this year.
In its filing, Duke lays out four different scenarios for meeting the 70% reduction in carbon emissions required by the law, with one achieving the goal by 2030. The other three scenarios would see Duke reach the goal between 2032 and 2034 with the addition of offshore wind, a small modular nuclear reactor or both forms of generation.
“This all of the above, sort of diversified strategy is not only needed for reliability to meet demand 24/7, but it also helps to diversify risk, which is beneficial for customers,” said Glen Snider, Duke’s managing director of Carolinas’ integrated resource planning and analytics, in an interview.
Duke is not asking the Utilities Commission to pick one of the four options, but rather asking it to approve the plan as a whole. That would mean allowing Duke to take steps leaving the utility with the option to pursue any one of the four paths as prices for different kinds of generation fluctuate or technology develops.