Duke Energy has launched a $13 billion, 10-year initiative to modernize North Carolina’s electric system. Among the goals of the “Power/Forward Carolinas” project is expanding renewable energy in the state.
According to Duke Energy, other plans include hardening the system against storms and outages, making it safer and more resilient against cyber-attacks and physical threats, and generating jobs and stimulating economic growth. The initiative will also give 7 million people in North Carolina more information to manage their energy use, the company says.
“Safely powering the lives of hard-working families and maintaining the vitality of our communities are our most important responsibilities,” says David Fountain, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “When we improve our energy infrastructure, we not only improve power quality and reliability for everyone, but we help grow our economy and create jobs while keeping energy at a reasonable price.”
According to Duke Energy, which touts the sixth-largest grid in the U.S., its 10-year modernization plan will result in the following:
- Additional bill-lowering tools designed to help customers reduce their energy costs;
- An average of 13,900 jobs each year;
- $10.4 billion in salaries and wages;
- Almost $800 million in state taxes and $550 million in local taxes; and
- A total economic output of $21.5 billion over the 10 years.
“We must embrace a forward-thinking approach to building a smarter energy future for North Carolina,” Fountain adds. “We have been working hard to generate cleaner, smarter electricity, and now we must invest to make the system that delivers that energy even smarter.”
The Fortune 125 company’s renewables unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the country, including the 200 MW Frontier Windpower Project in Oklahoma. Last October, Duke Energy Carolinas issued a request for proposals for 750,000 MWh of renewable energy located in its service territory.