Duke Energy’s “flawed modeling assumptions” for its 2020 North Carolina resource plan favor new natural gas capacity over new renewables and storage, and the utility’s resource scenarios are “not least-cost,” says a regulatory filing from the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association and the Carolinas Clean Energy Business Association.
The two groups and three others hired the consulting firm Synapse to “correct several flaws” and prepare an alternative resource plan using the EnCompass utility model.
That alternative plan would add 16 GW of solar, 10 GW of storage, and 2.5 GW of onshore wind in North Carolina by 2035, and would reduce system costs by $7.2 billion compared to Duke Energy’s least-cost plan, say the groups in a separate filing. The three groups joining that filing are the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Sierra Club, and Natural Resources Defense Council.
The alternative resource plan would add 3.1 GW of the selected renewable capacity by 2026, assuming “reasonable limits” on annual renewable capacity additions, which are assumed to rise over time due to industry learning and improved resources.
NCSEA, with 174 member businesses, and trade association CCEBA say that the Synapse modeling corrected only some of the issues that their five expert witnesses and Synapse identified, while it kept many of Duke’s assumptions.
The alternative plan would retire coal based on Duke’s earliest practicable retirement schedule and build no new gas, while deploying solar and battery storage capacity and maintaining a 17% reserve margin.
“Without direction from the North Carolina Utilities Commission, Duke plans a massive buildout of gas power plants,” said a statement from the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
A utility’s resource plan typically serves as the basis for an application for a certificate to build a new power plant, notes a filing from SACE, the Sierra Club and NRDC.
The filings are available under the North Carolina Utilities Commission’s Docket E-100 Sub 165.
This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: email@example.com.
NC’s greatest “energy” resource is perhaps a plethora of heat sinks. Lots of rivers, lots of rain, lots of lakes. It’s a great place to operate a heat engine.
NC is the place to build next generation nuclear, preferably MSRs of one flavor or another. There are too many long cold, or hot cloudy periods, and too little wind in the Piedmont to be overcome by any economic storage scheme.
By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.
Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.
You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.
Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.