Duke Energy, one of the largest electric power holding companies in the US, could confirm a potential move into offshore wind generation next month
The company provides electricity to 7.7M customers in six states and has approximately 51 GW of electricity generating capacity in the Carolinas, Midwest and Florida. If it does include offshore wind in the integrated resource plan (IRP) it is working on, it would signify further interest from a major US electric company in offshore wind as a form of low cost, low carbon generation.
As highlighted by OWJ on a number of occasions, utility Dominion Energy recently completed installation of the two-turbine, 12-MW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) pilot project 43 km off Virginia Beach. CVOW is the first offshore windfarm to be installed in federal waters and is the precursor to a much larger project of around 2.6 GW that it hopes to build.
Responding to questions after announcing details of the company’s Q2 results, Duke Energy chief executive Lynn Good said the company has embarked on a strategy to modernise and strengthen the energy grid, generate cleaner energy and expand smart energy infrastructure, an ambition underpinned by a five-year US$56Bn capital plan.
“On offshore wind, I think we will address offshore wind in the upcoming IRP. We think it might fit into the portfolio,” she said.
“It has not had as much visibility,” she said of offshore wind. “I think it will, through the IRP and the clean energy process.
“It represents a future investment opportunity, and we will know more as this policy gets finalised and as we make further progress on the fleet transition.”
In the IRP, which Duke Energy will file in early September, it will outline alternatives to achieving its carbon reduction goals as well as North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s executive order to achieve the 70% reduction by 2030.
The IRP filing follows a comprehensive stakeholder engagement process to identify the best potential path forward to achieve carbon reduction targets while also balancing reliability and affordability for customers.
The company highlighted that retiring coal plants and investing in replacement generation, coupled with investments in battery storage, the energy delivery system, energy efficiency and demand side management will underpin the state’s transition to a cleaner energy future and Duke Energy’s investment plans for customers and shareholders.
In the past Duke Energy has invested in a three-year study of the potential for offshore wind in North Carolina. And in 2016, the company signed an agreement with Deepwater Wind Block Island (as was) to undertake remote monitoring and control services for the first offshore wind project in the US.
In June 2020, the North Carolina Department of Commerce launched a project to assess the state’s inventory of businesses, organisations and physical infrastructure best positioned to promote offshore wind development in the state.
The move was the latest step in Governor Roy Cooper’s commitment to build a clean energy economy to fight climate change and grow clean-energy jobs in North Carolina.
To produce the supply chain report, the North Carolina Office of Science, Technology, & Innovation, an operating unit of the Commerce Department, issued a request for proposals seeking an experienced consulting partner to help the department develop and publish the study.
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