Duke Energy files resource plan to serve the future energy needs of a growing and prosperous South Carolina

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  • Plan calls for an “all of the above” approach to future energy generation

  • Includes doubling peak hourly capacity of Oconee County’s Bad Creek pumped storage facility

  • Reflects rigorous stakeholder outreach and feedback

GREENVILLE, S.C. – As strong economic development successes and population growth power South Carolina’s energy needs, Duke Energy’s goal is to ensure energy reliability for its customers.

To that end, Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress today filed their Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) with the Public Service Commission of South Carolina (PSCSC).

“Over the next 15 years, electric use by Duke Energy customers in the Carolinas is projected to surge by around 35,000 gigawatt-hours – more than the annual electric generation of Delaware, Maine and New Hampshire combined,” said Mike Callahan, Duke Energy’s South Carolina state president. “We’re preparing for this extraordinary growth in energy demand by prioritizing grid reliability, energy affordability and the deployment of a diverse range of energy options that support the sustainability goals of our South Carolina customers.”

The IRP includes three energy portfolios presented to the PSCSC that provide a range of generation options, reflecting the companies’ “all of the above” approach to powering the energy needs of a growing region. The plan recommends Portfolio 3 as the most prudent path forward to comply with South Carolina and other applicable law, as it provides for a reliable, affordable and smart clean energy transition that supports the Palmetto State’s economic prosperity. In the plan, the company also recommends a near-term action plan based on this most reasonable and prudent plan for South Carolina.

“This disciplined plan presents a path to build upon the tremendous economic development activity in our state that will contribute to the long-term vibrancy and prosperity of South Carolina, while leveraging tax incentives and credits and operational efficiencies to help keep costs for the state’s energy future lower than they would otherwise be,” Callahan said. 

Benefits of the recommended portfolio

The recommended portfolio accounts for dramatic recent growth in the Carolinas and the accelerating transition to electric transportation by residential and nonresidential customers alike. At the same time, this pathway helps reliably exit coal by 2035, protecting customers from increasing risks and costs as the coal industry declines.

It also makes the most of the companies’ existing system resources by extending the lives of Duke Energy’s nuclear plants and extending the license of the Bad Creek pumped hydro storage facility in Oconee County – while doubling the peak hourly capacity of that carbon-free “marvel in the mountain.” Expanding operations at Bad Creek also provides significant economic benefits of $7.3 billion to South Carolina, as the state benefits from construction and general infrastructure activity by 2033.

Portfolio 3 takes an “all of the above” approach with a diverse and reliable set of solutions, including new hydrogen-capable natural gas resources, energy storage, small modular nuclear reactors complemented by fuel-free renewable energy, and shrinks the challenges of growth and the transition from coal toward a lower carbon future by expanding the companies’ industry-leading energy efficiency (EE) and demand response options. 

Stakeholder input critical to the process

Earlier this year, Duke Energy continued engagement with stakeholders to discuss the development of these resource plans, which represent an evolution from prior plans filed with the PSCSC and shared with stakeholders. The information gathered throughout the stakeholder process was an important step to informing these plans.

Over the course of four months, the companies held five engagement meetings on technical, complex issues involving resource planning. More than 100 individuals, representing a diverse group of attendees that included customers, environmental advocates, community leaders and other industry representatives, attended these virtual sessions.

“We appreciate the significant input we received from everyone that helped inform these plans,” Callahan said. “Preparing for a successful energy future for South Carolina will take coordination and cooperation among many varied interests, and we look forward to continuing this dialogue on issues that are critically important to our state’s continued economic prosperity.”

The presentation materials and Q&A from these engagement sessions as well as additional documents and links related to the IRP process can be viewed on the IRP website.

Next steps

Today’s filing in South Carolina begins a public regulatory process at the PSCSC that involves the evaluation of thousands of pages of testimony and data from the company, other parties to the proceeding and customers. A hearing will be scheduled where this information is thoroughly evaluated and ultimately the PSCSC will order a path forward, likely in mid-2024.

The resource plan will also be submitted to the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) in the coming days, where a similar but separate regulatory process will take place. These plans are checked and adjusted every two to three years with updates filed in both states.

Duke Energy Carolinas/Duke Energy Progress

Duke Energy serves about 830,000 households and businesses in South Carolina through two utilities, Duke Energy Carolinas – serving primarily the Upstate including Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson counties – and Duke Energy Progress, with customers in the northeastern part of the state including Florence, Darlington and Sumter counties.

Duke Energy Carolinas owns 19,500 megawatts of energy capacity, supplying electricity to 2.8 million residential, commercial and industrial customers across a 24,000-square-mile service area in North Carolina and South Carolina. Duke Energy Progress owns 12,500 megawatts of energy capacity, supplying electricity to 1.7 million residential, commercial and industrial customers across a 29,000-square-mile service area in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 50,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,600 people.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2023 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “World’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on TwitterLinkedInInstagram and Facebook.

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