Duke Energy increased renewable energy capacity 20 percent in 2017

Published on May 02, 2018 by Dave Kovaleski

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Duke Energy, one of the nation’s largest energy companies, grew its renewable energy capacity by about 20 percent in 2017.

The company, which serves 7.5 million customers in the Southeast and Midwest, grew its renewable energy capacity from 5,400 megawatts (MW) in 2016 to more than 6,400 MW. This amount can power more than 1 million homes at peak production.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based firm has a goal of having 8,000 MW of wind, solar and biomass capacity by 2020. Including nuclear, renewables and hydroelectric power, roughly 40 percent of Duke Energy’s electric generation puts out no greenhouse gases.

“Duke Energy continues to invest in cleaner energy, shifting from coal to natural gas with a greater reliance on renewable energy, reducing our environmental footprint and modernizing our energy grid to support new customer-focused technology,” Cari Boyce, senior vice president, stakeholder strategy and sustainability for the Duke Energy Foundation, said.

Of Duke’s 6,400 MW of renewable capacity, solar power makes up 52 percent while wind represents 38 percent and biomass makes up 10 percent. Further, the company has more than 8,800 MW of nuclear capacity and 3,500 MW of hydroelectric and pumped storage hydro.

Overall, Duke’s carbon dioxide emissions are down 31 percent from 2005 levels, according to the firm’s annual sustainability report. The goal is to have them down by 40 percent goal by 2030. Duke also met its goal to recycle 80 percent of its solid waste.

The report said that Duke’s price per kilowatt-hour of electricity is lower than the national average in all six states the company serves.