Rita Leadem with the environmental group NC Warn said many of the grid upgrades are unnecessary and that Duke should invest more in solar energy. “The smarter investment at this time would really be in the clean energy resources, backed up with battery storage, that would provide the resiliency that we need and really pave the way forward,” she said.
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As a long-awaited hearing begins next Monday, attorneys for NC WARN and allies will firmly oppose Duke Energy’s request for yet another electricity rate hike even as the Utilities Commission’s Public Staff and other parties recently announced settlements with Duke on portions of the rate request.
See coverage by WFAE
A coalition of environmental groups have petitioned N.C. regulators to rule Duke Energy and other utilities must get regulatory approval before modifying coal plants to burn natural gas. Jim Warren, executive director of the Durham-based watchdog group NC WARN, which is one of the petitioners, says it appears Duke is “spending millions on Band-Aids for coal plants instead of retiring them.”
Duke Energy, the nation’s largest investor-owned electric utility, claims to make affordability, efficiency and access to renewable energy for its low-income customers a priority. But an investigation by the Environmental Working Group shows that just the opposite is true.
Despite growing frustration across the political spectrum with Duke Energy’s rising rates and meager clean energy plans, there’s no clear path to ending the 115-year-old utility’s monopoly outright.
A prominent energy engineer [Bill Powers] is contesting Duke Energy Carolinas’ request for billions of dollars in rate increases, showing in written testimony that the corporation is trying to pad investors’ pockets through pre-approval of grid projects that are either unneeded or could be better handled with solar-plus-storage investments.
This letter continues the flow of evidence that Duke Energy’s massive expansion of fracked gas is a reckless waste of money that’s harming humanity’s chances of averting runaway climate chaos. Today we are urging North Carolinians to tell Gov. Cooper to stop Duke Energy’s climate-wrecking gas expansion – starting with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
Duke Energy’s emphasis over the past year at two power plants in the Piedmont Triad has been on cleaning up coal ash, closing basins where the waste product had been submerged and relying more heavily on natural gas to make electricity.
Letter to the Editor by Jim Warren. In its latest 15-year Integrated Resource Plan filed in September, Duke projects to be 5 percent renewable in the Carolinas by next year. In 2033, Duke projects to be 8 percent renewable — which is under the current national average for utilities.
The state Senate vote yesterday on Duke Energy’s highly controversial “alternative ratemaking” bill and subsequent appointments to a conference committee clearly show the utility company’s undue influence over the legislative and public policy process, says the Energy Justice for North Carolina (EJNC) coalition.