This is yet another major problem for the nation’s worst climate-polluting electricity provider.
Today’s news follows a stunning rejection of the IRP by South Carolina’s utility regulators just two weeks ago in a ruling that mirrors many of the failures identified by Duke Energy’s critics in North Carolina.
Today’s unprecedented move by the Commission follows months of opposition to the gas-heavy, climate-wrecking plan by people and organizations across North Carolina.
It also follows legal arguments by Attorney General Josh Stein, NC WARN and the Center for Biological Diversity calling for full-blown evidentiary hearings into Duke’s plans to build over 50 gas-fired units while slow-walking the growth of cheaper, renewable power matched with battery storage.
Just this morning, the Center and NC WARN jointly reiterated our call for a full evidentiary hearing.
We have presented solid evidence that Duke grossly misled the Commission by alleging a shortage of available power during winter peaks. In fact, Duke had up to 40% more power than needed even on the coldest days in recent years. Also, we discovered that, just after Duke’s highest usage in years – during a deep freeze in 2015 – Duke officials assured the Commission they had large amounts of reserve power.
So, while Duke claims it must build scores of fossil-fuel units, it actually has dozens of similar units sitting idle even during periods of highest demand.
We applaud the Utilities Commission for digging deeper into Duke Energy’s scheme to keep soaking the public with unneeded power plants and rate hikes.