Despite its “climate plan” and greenwashing TV ads, Duke’s 15-year plan for the Carolinas seeks a massive buildout of new fracked-gas-burning power plants (over 50 units) and slow-walks cheaper renewables
Duke Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) lays out 6 colorful but convoluted scenarios for the next 15 years. While claiming to respond to public demands for cheaper clean energy, none of those scenarios slows the prominent role the monopoly utility plays in the climate crisis. All scenarios leave Duke a national laggard on renewable power.
Five of the scenarios involve constantly raising rates to build fracked gas-burning power plants – over 50 new units at an unknown number of sites across the Carolinas – even as dozens of Duke gas units sit totally unused.
In the sixth – the “no new gas” scenario – Duke claims the only way to ditch its massive fracked gas expansion is to burn coal longer, build experimental, small expensive nuclear reactors, and hike customer bills by 35%.
Tell the Utilities Commission:
Require an IRP that avoids constant rate hikes and helps slow the climate crisis that’s already devastating the most vulnerable North Carolinians!
(put Docket E-100, Sub 165 in the subject line)
Both Virginia and South Carolina recently rejected utility IRPs. Tell NC regulators to reject Duke Energy’s dirty and expensive plan.
Attorneys for NC WARN and the Center for Biological Diversity are vigorously contesting Duke’s IRP before the Commission. Key points include:
- Duke’s massive gas expansion is ruinous for the climate and is harming people.
- Duke’s plan falls far short of its own stated climate goals, the state’s Clean Energy Plan targets, and public demands for serious climate action.
- Duke now gets only 5% of its electricity from renewables and projects to be at only 14% in 2035 – while the national average was 19.8% in 2020.
- Duke actually plans to increase its use of coal in the short term.
- Duke has 24 gas-burning turbines that sat totally idle in 2019 yet Duke claims it needs 9,600 MW of new gas.
- Instead of adding gas, Duke could begin replacing all coal and gas with solar paired with battery storage located close to where it’s used. This would be cheaper and create more jobs. Many other utilities are using this approach instead of building gas-fired power plants, but Duke isn’t even letting solar farm owners add battery storage to their projects.
An IRP report card issued by 13 groups including NC WARN and Center for Biological Diversity gives Duke Energy failing marks on its 2020 IRP.
Duke plans more fracked gas expansion than any other U.S. utility, according to a new Sierra Club report. A separate analysis by the Energy Transition Institute finds that the gas buildout could add a completely unnecessary $4.8 billion to customer bills over time.
Tell NC Utilities Commissioners to reject Duke Energy’s expensive climate- and community-wrecking plan.
For more information visit ncwarn.org/2020irp.