STATEMENT: Duke Energy Files 2020 IRPs

Earlier this week, Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC) and Duke Energy Progress (DEP) filed their 2020 Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC). As a reminder, the Duke Energy (Duke) and Dominion utilities in North Carolina are required to submit new IRPs to the NCUC for approval. IRPs are, in short, a utility’s plan for meeting forecasted annual peak and energy demand over a fifteen-year period. 

NCSEA’s Policy Team is currently engaged in the Duke Energy Rate Cases being held (virtually) at the NCUC, and have not yet had an opportunity to fully analyze the IRPs in depth. The devil is in the details, and many of the most important facets of the IRPs are contained in the assumptions that Duke relies upon when projecting their generation needs. NCSEA’s Policy Team has, however, done a preliminary read and offered some initial takeaways below. 

In the IRPs, Duke presented six energy planning scenarios for consideration, only two of which meet the goals from the North Carolina Clean Energy Plan of a seventy percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the electric power sector by 2030. While NCSEA is pleased that Duke presented multiple energy planning scenarios, some of which are clean, we are eager to learn more details about the cost differences between the scenarios presented. As intervenors in the IRP proceeding before the NCUC, NCSEA plans to thoroughly scrutinize Duke’s cost assumptions but we also encourage Duke to provide additional clarity on its cost assumptions in subsequent filings and upcoming stakeholder forums. In particular, NCSEA has some initial concerns with the cost assumptions in the capacity expansion modeling, resource adequacy study, energy storage study, and the differences between the scenarios for the cost of transmission infrastructure investments. 

There is still a lot of information to unpack in the almost 1,500 pages of DEC and DEP IRPs, but rest assured that NCSEA’s Policy Team is working diligently to get through them. Duke has scheduled a technical briefing on the IRPs for September 18th and we look forward to learning more.  In the meantime, please e-mail with any questions and become an NCSEA member to be among the first to hear news about the IRPs and other clean energy topics in North Carolina. 

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