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Energy & Environment
Here are some of the other stories catching our attention.

Duke Says Renewable Energy Grew 19 Percent in 2017

Sheep from a local farm are grazing to keep grass down beneath the panels at Duke Energy's Monroe solar farm.
David Boraks
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WFAE
Sheep graze to keep grass down beneath the panels at a Duke Energy solar farm in Monroe.

Duke Energy says it expanded renewable energy generation by about 19 percent in 2017. That's according to the company's annual sustainability report out Monday morning.

Here's Duke's energy mix in 2017. It does not include pump-storage hydroelectric power, which uses more electricity than it generates, but provides power at times of peak demand.
Credit Duke Energy 2018 Sustainability Report
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Here's Duke's energy mix in 2017. It does not include pump-storage hydroelectric power, which uses more electricity than it generates, but provides power at times of peak demand.

The report is Duke's chance to showcase how the company is changing - for the public and for investors. It says Duke added 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy last year, including solar and wind farms and a relatively new source - biomass - energy produced from natural sources like animal waste.  

The company says it has about 6,400 megawatts of renewable energy installed — enough to power more than a million homes. That's more than two-thirds of the way toward a goal of 8,000 megawatts by 2020. 

About half the increase came in North Carolina, where Duke added 500 megawatts of solar power. The state continues to rank No. 2 nationwide for solar capacity.

But the numbers are still small overall. Only about 5 percent of the energy Duke generated in 2017 came from solar, wind and hydroelectric plants.  

Besides the changing energy mix, the sustainability report also looks at environmental protection, customer satisfaction, workplace safety, charitable giving, and how Duke restored power after Hurricane Irma hit the Southeast in September. Duke says 99 percent of customers were back online within eight days — though that response brought some criticism, particularly in Florida.

READ THE REPORT

Find Duke Energy’s 2017 Sustainability Report at  https://sustainabilityreport.duke-energy.com/

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