Ratepayers in the Carolinas could save nearly $10 billion if Duke Energy increased solar power sixfold, shuttered coal plants ahead of schedule, and abandoned goals for a new nuclear plant, a new report shows.
On Wednesday, the North Carolina Energy Policy Council unanimously voted to formally request that the General Assembly re-evaluate state energy policy.
Acknowledging that a new fossil-fuel powered plant may have little environmental upside, Duke University officials say they are not committed to the $55 million project they announced in May, even if state regulators give it the green light.
While the North Carolina Ethics Commission earlier this year dismissed a complaint against Gov. Pat McCrory’s office related to a meeting with Duke Energy officials and other issues, advocates say key questions remain unanswered.
The McCrory administration’s proposal to allow increased water pollution from two Duke Energy coal ash dumps was met with indignation at a public hearing here last week – with nearly all of the more than twenty speakers voicing objection.
While the utility industry is undergoing considerable upheaval, critics say you’d never know it by looking at Duke Energy’s most recent long-range planning documents.
Agreeing to house a new power plant will bind Duke University to fossil fuels beyond the middle of the century, marking a serious step backward from its climate commitments while Duke Energy enjoys the profits.
While North Carolina’s largest utility says solar development might be peaking in the state, advocates note that there is still plenty of room for growth.