UPSTATE, S.C. (WSPA) – Duke Energy recently presented a plan of what the next 15 years could look like in the Carolinas.
Duke Energy said electric use by its customers is expected to grow significantly over the next 15 years. The company said it’s working to make sure its services are reliable and affordable.
With more homes and businesses coming to the Upstate, Duke Energy is working to keep up with the growth.
The goal is to move towards a lower-carbon future, protecting customers from increasing risks and costs.
“It is an all of the above generation strategy that really focuses on making sure that when you go to flip that switch your light comes on,” Duke Energy spokesman Ryan Mosier said.
Duke Energy said they are expecting the same amount of power generation here in the Carolinas as they expect to see in Delaware, Maine, and New Hampshire combined.
One way Duke Energy plans to keep up with this demand is to continue investing in nuclear, which powers more than 50% of customers’ energy usage in our region.
Oconee County is home to one of the nation’s largest nuclear plants. Since beginning operation in 1973 it has generated more than 500 million megawatt-hours of electricity. That’s enough to be able to power three hundred and seventy-five billion homes.
“The Oconee Nuclear Plant celebrates 50 years this year and it has been serving customers well 24/7 with emission free electricity that entire time,” Mosier said. “We are really proud of that facility, and we are in the process of relicensing it so it serves future generations as well.”
Also in Oconee County, sits a pumped hydro storage facility in Bad Creek just above Lake Jocassee. It provides power to nearly one million homes.
“This facility, we call it a “Marvel in the Mountain” is a power plant dug into a mountain that uses water, clean fuel to generate electricity,” Mosier said. “We call it a battery. If you think about it, you discharge a battery when you need it by pumping water through the power plant and when you don’t need it you pump water back up into the reservoir.”
Clean, emission free and cost effective energy is all a part of Duke Energy’s “All of the Above” approach, to make sure customers have electricity 24/7.
“Our resource planning is all about making sure the power you need is there when you need it,” Mosier said. “It is important for us now to be thinking through these things so that we make sure that we have the most reliable, efficient, and affordable system that we can provide our customers today and in years to come.”
Duke Energy’s plans for the Carolinas are evaluated and adjusted every two to three years.
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