Duke Energy

Environment
2:59 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Watchdog Group Files Federal Complaint Against Duke Energy

Duke Energy's Wayne County Power Plant came online in 2000.
Credit Duke Energy

A watchdog group has filed a federal complaint against Duke Energy. NC Warn says the company is keeping rates artificially high by building power plants it doesn’t need.

Duke Energy is required to keep production capacity at 15 percent above the peak day of the year. NC Warn says the company regularly has double that amount of electricity on hand.

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Environment
5:19 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Coal Ash in Carolina: Three Important Questions

Tom Augspurger (left), contaminants specialist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, takes a core sample of coal ash on Feb. 8 on the banks of the Dan River. Augsperger is shown here with John Fridell, also with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Rick Smith of Duke Energy.
Credit Steve Alexander, USFWS

Politicians, regulators, engineers, and commissions are trying to decide what to do with the 100-million tons of coal ash in 32 pits and ponds across North Carolina.

Before a broken storm pipe caused 33,000 tons of coal ash to spill into the Dan River back in February, most people had never heard of it.

So what is coal ash? How dangerous is it? And what are we going to do with it?

Question #1: What is coal ash?

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Environment
4:56 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Report: Offshore Wind Electricity Poised For Growth In NC

A windmill on Jennette's Pier in Nags Head.
Credit Dave DeWitt

 A new report from advocacy group Environment North Carolina says the state is under-utilizing its capacity to produce electricity from wind power.

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, North Carolina has the most offshore wind potential of any Atlantic state.

If tapped, the report says offshore wind resources in the state could grow to power 2.5 million homes by 2030.

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Environment
2:52 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Two North Carolina Counties Want To Get Paid To Take Coal Ash

Duke Energy owns and operates 32 coal ash ponds at 14 sites across North Carolina.
Credit Duke Energy

Duke Energy’s plan to dispose of coal ash in abandoned clay mines in two North Carolina counties may hit a snag.

If coal waste was trash from your kitchen trash can, and ended up in a private landfill, the owners of that landfill would be required to pay a host fee of $2 per ton of trash.

Duke Energy’s plan to dispose of 20 million tons of coal ash in abandoned clay mines in Lee and Chatham counties should come under the same rules, say officials in Lee County.

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Business & Economy
8:31 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Agency Will Help North Carolinians Cover High Heating Bills Ahead

Utilities are expecting high energy bills in the face of another cold winter. DSS is helping people sign up for help paying their heating bills.
Credit RachelEllen via Flickr/Creative Commons

Forecasters are predicting another cold winter. 

The North Carolina Division of Social Services is accepting applications for the state's Low Income Energy Assistance Program.

Director Wayne Black says it's meant to help seniors, veterans and people with disabilities pay their heating bills.

“Demand is there every year for these programs, and we expect that to be the same this coming years as well,” Black said. “Obviously, how cold the winter is would have some impact as well in terms of persons coming in.”

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Environment
7:52 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Solar Business Is Booming In NC, But For How Long?

A house in Cary, NC with rooftop solar panels.
Credit Yes Solar Solutions

The small warehouse and loading area in the back of the Yes! Solar Solutions building in Cary is empty. And that’s a good thing. On this bright, sunny Fall day, it means all the crews are out on jobs, installing solar panels on houses.

Kathy Miller and her husband Stew started the company in 2009, after selling the Primrose Schools of Cary. They could have done almost anything at that point, but decided to throw their future into solar energy.

Turns out, the pre-school business and the solar business aren’t all that different.

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Environment
6:13 am
Fri November 14, 2014

NC Coal Ash Committee Meets: Here’s One Of The First Decisions Needed

Duke Energy's Dan River coal ash basin.
Credit Steven Alexander, USFWS

The long road to determining how Duke Energy will clean up its 32 coal ash ponds starts today. The Coal Ash Management Commission holds it first meeting in Chapel Hill.

Among the many decisions the Commission will make is classifying the ponds as low, intermediate, or high-risk.

“The classification is really going to drive what the final closure plan looks like,” says Robin Smith, an environmental attorney and a former assistant secretary at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

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Environment
6:14 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Big Tech May Determine Fate Of Renewable Energy In NC

Apple's solar farm in Maiden, NC.
Credit Apple

When Apple makes an announcement – any announcement – the world stops and listens. And while it wasn’t a new product launch, when Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke last month ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit, it was a big deal.

“We have a huge data center in Maiden North Carolina,” Cook said. “There were no options to buy renewable energy. Our only way to do that, was to build it.”

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Environment
4:00 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Big Energy Changes Could Be Coming To NC

Seismic testing for oil could occur off the North Carolina coast in 2017.
Credit Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

The days of oil rigs off the coast of the Outer Banks is still many years away, if it ever comes. But the state of North Carolina is already making plans that will allow oil companies to use seismic imaging to search for possible oil reserves.

Donald Van der Vaart, the Energy Policy Advisor with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, told the North Carolina Energy Policy Council that seismic testing was last done off the coast of North Carolina in the 1980s.

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Environment
7:06 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Duke Energy Invests Big In Solar

Strata Solar of Chapel Hill is one of the contractors working with Duke Energy.
Credit Strata Solar

Duke Energy is investing $500 million in solar power generation in North Carolina.

Three new large-scale solar facilities will be built in Bladen, Wilson, and Duplin Counties. The 65 megawatt facility in Duplin will be the largest solar plant east of the Mississippi.

Due to a state law passed in 2007, Duke and other utilities must source at least 12.5 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2021.

“We choose solar today because solar is the cheapest renewable energy certificate available to us,” said Duke Energy Vice President Rob Caldwell.

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