NC WARN and the Center for Biological Diversity have filed a legal challenge to Duke Energy’s climate-wrecking, 15-year plan for the Carolinas
Duke Energy’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 exaggerates its future demand and keeps dozens of existing plants idle in order to justify charging customers billions for fracked gas-burning power plants.
Duke now gets only 5% of its electricity from renewables, and projects to be at only 14% in 2035, while the current national average is 20.1%.
Duke exaggerates the cost of renewables and underestimates the cost of gas to make clean solutions look more expensive.
If Duke replaced gas with solar paired with batteries, it could avoid constant rate hikes, create more jobs and help slow the climate crisis that’s already devastating the most vulnerable North Carolinians.
South Carolina regulators rejected Duke’s IRP and NC Attorney General Josh Stein wants the NC Utilities Commission to do the same. Unfortunately, the revised plan that Duke submitted in SC still foresees more than 50 new gas units by 2035.
NC WARN and Center for Biological Diversity called on the Commission to hold an evidentiary hearing to resolve disputes of fact in Duke’s IRP. The Commission denied the request and instead called for a 2-day technical conference.
Online Public Hearings
The NC Utilities Commission’s single IRP public hearing was turned into 6 public hearings when 211 people signed up to testify!
Recordings of the hearings are available on the Commission’s YouTube page.
- Bill Powers' IRP Analysis
- Duke Energy IRP Report Card
- Report card webinar
- 11 NC Cities/Counties Critique IRP
- 8 Large Businesses Critique IRP
- Other critiques of Duke IRPs
- Climate Risk and Stranded Assets (ETI)
- The Dirty Truth (Sierra Club)
- Duke's Ill-Advised Gas Bet (IEEFA)
- Duke's Overstated Demand Growth Forecasts (IEEFA)
- Duke's Dismissal of Battery Storage (IEEFA)
- A Misguided Rush to Gas (IEEFA webinar)
- Pathway to Decarbonization (Brattle Group)
- Why other states have rejected IRPs
- Duke Energy Carolinas full IRP
- Duke Energy Progress full IRP
- Summary table from DEP IRP (Duke's 6 scenarios)
- DEP South Carolina revised IRP
- DEC South Carolina revised IRP
- Media coverage
NC WARN has teamed up with the Center for Biological Diversity to contest Duke’s Integrated Resource Plan at the NC Utilities Commission. This is the plan Duke files with regulators every two years to project how it will generate electricity over the next 15 years.
NC WARN & CBD initial comments
Analysis by Bill Powers
Attachments to testimony
IRP issue brief
Press releases & news reports
Motion for evidentiary hearing
Several excellent reports have been published recently, pointing out various serious problems with Duke’s plan. Find links to those in the Resources box on this page.
“It’s time to stop pretending Duke Energy is working to slow the climate crisis. Duke Energy is working only to increase its profits, as this IRP amply demonstrates. Other utilities are turning toward — and profiting from — clean energy, while Duke is still making excuses for its huge fracked gas expansion. The Utilities Commission should demand more.”
—Jim Warren, Executive Director, NC WARN
Top Climate Scientists: Stopping Natural Gas Expansions Can Help “very, very quickly” … But Duke Energy Leaders Blow Off the Warning — News Release from NC WARN
Stopping emissions of natural gas (methane) – a super-potent heat trapper – could “give the world a fighting chance” to prevent “catastrophic global warming” from becoming irreversible. That’s the message from a leading global scientist based at Duke University. SEE ALL Duke's 15-Year Plan POSTS
Should NC’s clean energy future include more nuclear power? Duke Energy thinks so — USA Today Network
“Duke Energy has already dragged us through this horror movie, and we can’t let them do it again,” Warren said, referring to the utility’s own efforts to build additional big nuclear plants earlier this century. SEE ALL Duke's 15-Year Plan POSTS