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Duke IRP for Carolina utilities all but ignore solar, wind and batteries

April 07, 2021

Solar Builder:

A pair of long-range plans for Carolina utilities owned by Duke Energy underestimate potential savings from renewable energy sources over the next decade, according to a report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. The IEEFA report is the fourth in a series examining the integrated resource plans (IRPs) for Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress. The plans outline six possible scenarios for the company during the next 15 years. Five of the plans call for significant new gas-fired power generation capacity; the sixth, which would rely on no new gas, carries the highest estimated cost. 

“Duke’s half-hearted embrace of solar and wind generation can be characterized as ‘yes, but,’” said Dennis Wamsted, an IEEFA analyst and editor who authored the study. “Yes, these technologies have potential, but it would be better to wait for costs to come down. IEEFA believes this is a significant error on the company’s part.”

Although most other East Coast states are actively developing offshore wind resources, Duke’s base case plans do not see any role for the resource in the next 15 years. Meanwhile, companies such as Avangrid Renewables, the green energy arm of the Spanish utility Iberdrola, are planning a massive expansion of offshore wind that could enter service within five years. 

[Staff Report]

More: IEEFA: Duke Energy’s IRPs give short shrift to solar, wind and storage

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