Duke University announced in April 2018 that it is delaying indefinitely plans to allow Duke Energy to build a fracked gas power plant on campus.
Email Duke University President Vincent Price
and thank him for choosing a cleaner path forward for Duke University.
Update: There have been reports that Duke Energy and Duke University are considering instead building a plant that would burn biogas from hog waste. Read our July 2018 letter pointing out some pitfalls of this plan and urging them to prioritize the health of safety of hog farm neighbors.
Duke delays construction of proposed power plant indefinitely, April 6, 2018
Duke University press release announcing indefinite delay in plans for gas plant, April 6, 2018
Duke eyes building gas-turbine power plant on campus, Durham Herald Sun, March 16, 2018
Letter from community groups to Duke University president, March 9, 2018
Letter from NC WARN to incoming Duke University President Price, December 14, 2017, and
subsequent email exchange with President Price
Listen to January 19, 2017 commentary by NC WARN on WCHL, January 19, 2017
NC WARN’s report to Duke University President Richard Brodhead, October 24, 2016
NC WARN’s letter to President Brodhead refuting misinformation about the project, November 21, 2016
NC WARN letter to President Brodhead urging inclusion of all stakeholders, December 15, 2016
NC WARN supplemental technical analysis regarding excessive NOx emissions, January 10, 2017
Duke University web page about the plant, March 27, 2017
Report by Duke Univ. Sustainability Committee subcommittee, April 7, 2017
University announcement of 4/11/17 regarding 2nd delay, April 11, 2017
Duke Energy’s request for approval to the NC Utilities Commission, October 17, 2016
NC WARN Motion to Intervene at NCUC, November 1, 2016
In May 2016, Duke University announced it was considering a partnership with Duke Energy to build a 21-megawatt natural gas-burning power plant on the Duke campus. As our October 2016 press statement explains, the campus would be a guinea pig for a national scheme to build fracked gas power plants with climate-wrecking emissions on campuses.
NC WARN met with Duke University officials beginning in July 2016, presenting them with information on the dangers of natural gas and discussing alternatives. In October, we sent a report titled Analysis of and Alternatives to the Proposed Duke University Natural Gas-Fired CHP Plant to Duke University President Richard Brodhead.
In January 2017, we sent a supplemental letter and technical analysis showing that the pollution control equipment proposed by Duke Energy for the plant would allow 10 times as much nitrogen oxide (NOx) to be emitted as best-in-class NOx control equipment used at other gas plants.
Duke Energy has filed for approval of the plan by the NC Utilities Commission, but the details of the contract remain to be worked out and approved by the University. NC WARN will intervene in the case at the Commission (see our Motion to Intervene).
The Commission had scheduled a public hearing and an evidentiary hearing on the plant for January 2017, but on December 1, Duke Energy asked the Commission to delay the hearings to early summer. The University requested more time after receiving significant student and public objections to the plan.
On April 11, the University announced it would not put the plant to a vote by its Board of Trustees in May as had been planned.
NC WARN applauds Duke University President Richard Brodhead’s decision on April 11 to delay consideration by the Board of Trustees of the proposed fracked gas power plant that Duke Energy wants to build on campus. Read the University’s announcement here and media coverage here. The announcement came after a special subcommittee of the campus sustainability committee submitted its report on the plant proposal to the University administration.
When it appeared in 2018 that attempts to build the plant had resumed, another community effort was launched, and Duke University announced on April 6, 2018 that it was suspending plans for a gas-burning power plant on campus.
Duke Energy has plans to build such plants at other universities as well. A similar proposal at Clemson University is also encountering resistance. We are glad that Duke University declined the opportunity to become the poster campus for an industry scheme to create profit centers at universities. As it becomes clear that the climate crisis is being driven by methane emissions from the fracking boom, humanity badly needs leadership from Duke University and other academic institutions.
Letter to Dr. Vincent E. Price, President Duke University, and Lynn Good, President & CEO Duke Energy: Amid prodigious PR by the two Dukes since the spring about creating biogas from hog waste, there apparently has been little or no technology breakthrough in several years. SEE ALL Plant on Duke University Campus POSTS
Duke University has delayed indefinitely plans to build a freestanding Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant and will instead focus its attention on expanding opportunities to use biogas and other environmentally friendly fuels for its growing energy needs, university officials announced on Friday. SEE ALL Plant on Duke University Campus POSTS