After several months of negotiations, Duke Energy Carolinas has reached a settlement agreement on the utility’s Power/Forward Grid Modernization Plan. The agreement calls for a $25-million investment in EV infrastructure that the Sierra Club calls “unprecedented in the Southeast.”
Duke will provide rebates of $750 to about 1,500 residential customers ($4 million total) to install Level 2 charging stations, and will install, own and operate 275 Level 2 charging stations at multi-dwelling buildings ($4 million), as well as 60 DC fast charging stations ($7.7 million) along highway corridors. Ten to fifteen percent of the stations will be installed in low-income communities.
Duke will provide a $75,000 incentive for 45 electric transit buses and associated charging infrastructure ($3.4 million total), giving priority to communities with lower air quality.
Duke will also deploy 200 MW of battery storage projects by 2023 and an additional 100 MW by 2026. The storage will be used to level out periods of peak demand, which the Sierra Club hopes will remove justifications for raising customers’ rates to pay for new fracked gas plants.
“Investments in clean energy technologies will not only protect our environment, but will save money for families and businesses over the long term,” said the Sierra Club’s Dave Rogers. “We’ll use this settlement as a springboard to keep pushing Duke for even more investments in smart, clean, renewable technologies that benefit communities, as well as their bottom line.”
“This commitment to electrifying our cars and buses means cleaner air across North Carolina, and puts us a step closer to fully protecting the most vulnerable among us from the pollution caused by gas and diesel powered vehicles,” Rogers continued. “And with every new unit of energy storage brought online, we poke more holes into the fallacy that clean energy isn’t reliable and resilient. Making the transition to 100 percent clean energy is not only possible, but inevitable.”
Source: Sierra Club