N. Carolina Doesn't Pick Electric Mix to Lower Carbon Levels
Author: Associated Press
North Carolina utility regulators told Duke Energy Corp. on December 30. 2022 to carry out a series of activities to generate electricity that they say will help ensure greenhouse gas reductions set in a new state law are met. But the Utilities Commission's order involving solar, wind, nuclear and other sources for electricity doesn't endorse any particular mix of energy sources to meet the mandates currently required for 2030. The order does tell Duke Energy's subsidiaries in North Carolina to optimally retire its remaining coal-fired plants by 2035, in keeping with a previous announcement by the company. The bipartisan 2021 state law said the panel needed by Saturday to approve a plan for the state’s electric public utilities - essentially Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress - to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 70% by 2030 as compared to 2005 levels. Net-zero emissions by 2050 also are ultimately necessary, according to the law. Duke Energy, the state's dominant electric provider, had offered last spring four different portfolio options, three of which actually delayed meeting the 70% reduction until 2032 or 2034. The law provides for wiggle room on the deadline. Critics of Duke’s plans said they relied too much on natural gas or unproven technologies and would make customer bills too costly. Some environmental and clean-energy groups offered in July their own carbon-reduction plan that reached the 70% reduction mandate by 2030 while relying more on solar and wind power and battery storage use.