Renewable Energy

Duke Energy has seven coal-fired power plants in the Carolinas, including the Allen Steam Station in Belmont.
DAVID BORAKS / WFAE

North Carolina regulators this week approved Duke Energy's latest 15-year energy plan as "adequate." But they also ordered the company next year to show why it still makes economic sense to keep old coal plants open and how it will help meet state goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Companies would be able to contract for solar or wind power with third parties under the new Duke Energy program.
DUKE ENERGY

Duke Energy is rolling out a new program that clears the way for large customers to buy solar or wind energy from independent power producers.

Fuel cell energy generators outside a warehouse. They use an electro-chemical reaction to generate electricity.
Bloom Energy

Duke Energy is adding power-generating fuel cells to the list of services it provides businesses and institutions.  On Monday, the company's non-regulated subsidiary Duke Energy One announced a $250 million deal with California-based Bloom Energy to install fuel cells at more than 30 businesses in four states: California, Connecticut, Maryland and New York.  

The hog waste is processed into pipeline-quality gas in this converter in Kenansville, Duplin County. It's run by a company called Optima KV.
Duke Energy

Duke Energy last week began generating electricity in eastern North Carolina with natural gas from a new source: hog waste. It helps Duke meet a state mandate, while benefiting farmers, too.

Duke Energy Solar farm near Elizabeth City NC
Duke Energy

A trade association representing energy organizations in the Carolinas say President Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Accord will have little immediate effect on local energy companies.

The 10-year plan includes upgrading power lines and systems across Duke's North Carolina grid.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy plans to spend an extra $13 billion over the next decade to modernize the power lines and systems that distribute electricity in North Carolina. The upgrades include burying lines, adding technology to reduce outages, and giving customers more energy efficiency tools. 

Duke Energy's Preston Pierce stands atop the dam above Bad Creek Hydro Station in South Carolina.
David Boraks / WFAE

Wind and solar power get most of the attention when it comes to renewable energy. But Duke Energy has another alternative - a type of hydroelectric power called pumped storage. WFAE reporter David Boraks visited Bad Creek hydroelectric station in upstate South Carolina, where Duke is getting ready to invest millions of dollars in upgrades.

duke solar projects in NC map
Duke Energy

Duke Energy has put out a call to renewable energy developers for new projects in the western part of the state. It's part of the company's push to meet a state mandate to generate more energy from sources other than fossil fuels.

The North Carolina Senate approved a bill Monday that would ban wind farms across much of the state. The "Military Operations Protection Act," which passed 33-14, would not allow wind turbines in areas with military training flights.

David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy shareholders elected a smaller board and approved one of two shareholder proposals at their annual meeting Thursday morning.

Duke Energy Solar farm near Elizabeth City NC
Duke Energy

Duke Energy says it’s on track to beat its goal for renewable energy use over the next few years, so it’s raising the bar. The pledge came in the company’s annual corporate sustainability report out Thursday.

Carbon Cycle Energy

Duke Energy has signed a deal to buy natural gas recycled from swine and poultry waste generated at a new plant eastern North Carolina. The contract helps Duke meet state renewable energy rules and could help solve the problem of what to do with the state's growing amount of animal waste. 

Gov. Pat McCrory
NC.gov

North Carolina is continuing to fight new EPA rules that limit carbon emissions from power plants. Gov. Pat McCrory's office said Wednesday night the state has joined 27 other states in asking the US Supreme Court to delay the Clean Power Plan, while the states challenge the rules in court.

Duke Energy plans to add two more solar energy projects to its North Carolina power network next year, as it works to meet state requirements for clean electricity.

The company is asking the North Carolina Utilities Commission for permission to take over two projects already in development -  a 60-megawatt solar farm in Monroe and a 15.4-megawatt facility in Mocksville, in Davie County.

If approved, construction on both would start in March and be done by the end of 2016. 

NC Renewable Energy, And Surcharges, Set To Rise

Jul 1, 2014
Duke Energy/Flickr

Duke Energy reports it cost about $30 million to comply with North Carolina’s renewable energy requirement last year. As that requirement doubles next year, Duke is petitioning for an increase in rates.


elwetritsche / Flickr

Duke Energy is in discussion with large companies, including Google and Facebook, to use renewable energy to power new electricity needs in North Carolina. Companies can pay a premium and Duke will pour energy of the companies’ choice—solar or wind, for instance—into the grid to match the amount of power used. The new program sailed through the state utilities commission last month, but some environmental organizations question its potential. WFAE’s Ben Bradford joined Morning Edition host Kevin Kniestedt to explain.


A new report shows North Carolina becoming a bigger player in the solar energy market. The firm NPD Solarbuzz says North Carolina created 400MW (megawatts) of new solar capacity. That’s enough to account for 10 percent of all new solar in the U.S. and Canada. Analyst Michael Barker says it’s a ramp up from previous years.

"One of the big findings was just how quickly the North Carolina market has grown in 2013," Barker says. "Climbing from the 5th largest U.S. market to the 2nd largest U.S. market."

Duke Renewables President Talks Solar Prospects

Dec 23, 2013
Duke Energy Renewables

Duke Energy is not known for embracing renewable energy in North Carolina. About one percent of the Duke Energy Progress’ and Duke Energy Carolinas’ electric capacities in the state come from renewables—mostly solar, as well as a small amount of wind and biomass. Duke’s favored plan projects that number to rise to just 3 percent, 15 years from now. At the same time, Duke has a subsidiary business solely focused on developing and selling renewable energy across the country. WFAE’s Ben Bradford spoke to the president of Duke Energy Renewables for a businessman’s perspective on the green revolution.


Ben Bradford / WFAE

When you look out the airplane window as you fly into Charlotte, the trees thin, the Uptown skyline rises into view, and the buildings of West Charlotte grow larger, as your plane drops altitude. The City of Charlotte hopes to add solar panels glinting across the airport’s parking lots and in-between the runways to that view. The city is soliciting bids for an ambitious solar project at the airport.

IKEA-Charlotte Now Operates (Partly) On Sunshine

Jun 6, 2013
Tasnim Shamma

Furniture giant IKEA has just installed 4,228 solar panels on the roof of its store in Charlotte. The panels are expected to generate up to half of the store's electricity. 


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