Duke Energy reaffirms capital investments in renewables and grid projects to deliver cleaner energy, economic growth

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  • Five-year $56 billion capital investment plan will balance affordability for customers and create value for our communities.

  • Will advance clean energy agenda without Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) today said that the company will continue advancing its ambitious clean energy goals without the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) by investing in renewables, battery storage, energy efficiency programs and grid projects.

Duke Energy’s $56 billion capital investment plan will deliver significant customer benefits and create jobs at a time when policymakers at all levels are looking for ways to rebuild the economy in 2020 and beyond. These investments will deliver cleaner energy for customers and communities while enhancing the energy grid to provide greater reliability and resiliency.

“Sustainability and the reduction of carbon emissions are closely tied to our region’s success,” said Lynn Good, Duke Energy Chair, President and CEO. “In our recent Climate Report, we shared a vision of a cleaner energy future with an increasing focus on renewables and battery storage in addition to a diverse mix of zero-carbon nuclear, natural gas, hydro and energy efficiency programs.

“Achieving this clean energy vision will require all of us working together to develop a plan that is smart, equitable and ensures the reliability and affordability that will spur economic growth in the region. While we’re disappointed that we’re not able to move forward with ACP, we will continue exploring ways to help our customers and communities, particularly in eastern North Carolina where the need is great,” said Good.

Already a clean-energy leader, Duke Energy has reduced its carbon emissions by 39% from 2005 and remains on track to cut its carbon emissions by at least 50% by 2030. The company also has an ambitious clean energy goal of reaching net-zero emissions from electricity generation by 2050. 

In September 2020, Duke Energy plans to file its Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) for the Carolinas after an extensive process of working with the state’s leaders, policymakers, customers and other stakeholders. The IRPs will include multiple scenarios to support a path to a cleaner energy future in the Carolinas.

Since 2010, Duke Energy has retired 51 coal units totaling more than 6,500 megawatts (MW) and plans to retire at least an additional 900 MW by the end of 2024. In 2019, the company proposed to shorten the book lives of another approximately 7,700 MW of coal capacity in North Carolina and Indiana.

Duke Energy will host an analyst call in early August 2020 to discuss second quarter 2020 financial results and other business and financial updates. The company will also host its inaugural Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investor day in October 2020.

*****(Editor’s note: To download video soundbites from Duke Energy Chair, President and CEO Lynn Good, click here)*****

Duke Energy

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 29,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities and 2,300 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve 7.8 million retail electric customers in six states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to 1.6 million customers in five states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2020 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.


Media contact: Neil Nissan



Forward-Looking Information

This document includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s beliefs and assumptions and can often be identified by terms and phrases that include “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend,” “estimate,” “expect,” “continue,” “should,” “could,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “will,” “potential,” “forecast,” “target,” “guidance,” “outlook” or other similar terminology. Various factors may cause actual results to be materially different than the suggested outcomes within forward-looking statements; accordingly, there is no assurance that such results will be realized. These factors include, but are not limited to:

◦ The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic;

◦ State, federal and foreign legislative and regulatory initiatives, including costs of compliance with existing and future environmental requirements, including those related to climate change, as well as rulings that affect cost and investment recovery or have an impact on rate structures or market prices;

◦ The extent and timing of costs and liabilities to comply with federal and state laws, regulations and legal requirements related to coal ash remediation, including amounts for required closure of certain ash impoundments, are uncertain and difficult to estimate;

◦ The ability to recover eligible costs, including amounts associated with coal ash impoundment retirement obligations and costs related to significant weather events, and to earn an adequate return on investment through rate case proceedings and the regulatory process;

◦ The costs of decommissioning nuclear facilities could prove to be more extensive than amounts estimated and all costs may not be fully recoverable through the regulatory process;

◦ Costs and effects of legal and administrative proceedings, settlements, investigations and claims;

◦ Industrial, commercial and residential growth or decline in service territories or customer bases resulting from sustained downturns of the economy and the economic health of our service territories or variations in customer usage patterns, including energy efficiency efforts and use of alternative energy sources, such as self-generation and distributed generation technologies;

◦ Federal and state regulations, laws and other efforts designed to promote and expand the use of energy efficiency measures and distributed generation technologies, such as private solar and battery storage, in Duke Energy service territories could result in customers leaving the electric distribution system, excess generation resources as well as stranded costs;

◦ Advancements in technology;

◦ Additional competition in electric and natural gas markets and continued industry consolidation;

◦ The influence of weather and other natural phenomena on operations, including the economic, operational and other effects of severe storms, hurricanes, droughts, earthquakes and tornadoes, including extreme weather associated with climate change;

◦ The ability to successfully operate electric generating facilities and deliver electricity to customers including direct or indirect effects to the company resulting from an incident that affects the U.S. electric grid or generating resources;

◦ The ability to obtain the necessary permits and approvals and to complete necessary or desirable pipeline expansion or infrastructure projects in our natural gas business;

◦ Operational interruptions to our natural gas distribution and transmission activities;

◦ The availability of adequate interstate pipeline transportation capacity and natural gas supply;

◦ The impact on facilities and business from a terrorist attack, cybersecurity threats, data security breaches, operational accidents, information technology failures or other catastrophic events, such as fires, explosions, pandemic health events or other similar occurrences;

◦ The inherent risks associated with the operation of nuclear facilities, including environmental, health, safety, regulatory and financial risks, including the financial stability of third-party service providers;

◦ The timing and extent of changes in commodity prices and interest rates and the ability to recover such costs through the regulatory process, where appropriate, and their impact on liquidity positions and the value of underlying assets;

◦ The results of financing efforts, including the ability to obtain financing on favorable terms, which can be affected by various factors, including credit ratings, interest rate fluctuations, compliance with debt covenants and conditions and general market and economic conditions;

◦ Credit ratings of the Duke Energy Registrants may be different from what is expected;

◦ Declines in the market prices of equity and fixed-income securities and resultant cash funding requirements for defined benefit pension plans, other post-retirement benefit plans and nuclear decommissioning trust funds;

◦ Construction and development risks associated with the completion of the Duke Energy Registrants’ capital investment projects, including risks related to financing, obtaining and complying with terms of permits, meeting construction budgets and schedules and satisfying operating and environmental performance standards, as well as the ability to recover costs from customers in a timely manner, or at all;

◦ Changes in rules for regional transmission organizations, including changes in rate designs and new and evolving capacity markets, and risks related to obligations created by the default of other participants;

◦ The ability to control operation and maintenance costs;

◦ The level of creditworthiness of counterparties to transactions;

◦ The ability to obtain adequate insurance at acceptable costs;

◦ Employee workforce factors, including the potential inability to attract and retain key personnel;

◦ The ability of subsidiaries to pay dividends or distributions to Duke Energy Corporation holding company (the Parent);

◦ The performance of projects undertaken by our nonregulated businesses and the success of efforts to invest in and develop new opportunities;

◦ The effect of accounting pronouncements issued periodically by accounting standard-setting bodies;

◦ The impact of U.S. tax legislation to our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows and our credit ratings;

◦ The impacts from potential impairments of goodwill or equity method investment carrying values; and

◦ The ability to implement our business strategy, including enhancing existing technology systems.

Additional risks and uncertainties are identified and discussed in the Duke Energy Registrants' reports filed with the SEC and available at the SEC's website at sec.gov. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the events described in the forward-looking statements might not occur or might occur to a different extent or at a different time than described. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and the Duke Energy Registrants expressly disclaim an obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.