CHARLOTTE – Duke Energy offers regular visitors new renewable energy plans designed to help businesses and consumers who want to go “green.” It is large with the potential to serve 800,000 homes. But the cost of the program will not be cheap.
The Green Source Advantage, or GSA, plan needs approval from the North Carolina Public Utilities Commission. According to the energy giant, it is based on a 2017 plan that was approved by the Public Utilities Commission and has been used by customers such as the city of Charlotte, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Duke University.
The capacity expansion to 4,000 megawatts is 10 times the current program. Duke says the power is “100% renewable.”
“Many of our large business customers are looking to renewable energy and making decarbonization a long-term part of their business plans,” said Lon Huber, Duke Energy’s senior vice president of pricing and customer solutions. “Duke Energy is proud to offer these customers a wide range of options, including the opportunity to increase their hourly carbon-free energy use through one of the nation’s first time-based clean energy programs.”
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The proposed plan also allows business customers to contract for up to 100% energy use, up from 30% in the previous plan.
“Customers can also combine energy storage with their project, allowing them to match renewable energy production with their energy load,” the utility adds.
Consumer plan offer
For consumers, the proposed plan offers local renewable energy certificates (RECs) and monthly contracts.
“Clean energy exposure will be available to residential customers who will be able to buy renewable energy according to their energy consumption at the level they choose,” the utility said. “This will be ideal for tenants or customers who cannot or do not want to install solar,” the post added.
Inside the plans
In an exclusive Q&A with WRAL TechWire, a Duke Energy representative talked about the program, from pricing to sources:
Is this energy worth more than the traditional source for the business?
Under the GSA program, businesses can negotiate the cost of renewable energy. It’s unlikely, but it will be less than what they get from the utilities. But it could be.
Does the consumer plan cost more?
It will cost more. It is based on the current market rate for RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates).
How does Duke define energy from green sources?
Wind, solar, hydro, which is connected to the Duke Energy system
How much power is coming from Duke’s grid?
All of this will be connected to Duke Energy’s grid.
What is the energy equivalent of the new availability, ie. how many houses?
4,000 MW of new capacity, according to the GSA, would power roughly 800,000 homes annually
How does Duke Energy benefit financially from this? Are there any tax benefits?
These programs are designed for customers who want more access to renewable energy. Under the carbon plan, more solar panels will be built in the Carolinas. There are tax incentives for companies that build renewable energy projects (utilities and non-utilities).
What is Duke’s approximate investment in this program, from resources and network usage to staff for monitoring and maintenance?
There is no total amount now. All projects must be approved by the Housing Commission.
Is the program positive/negative – and how do all Duke Energy customers benefit or subsidize the programs?
The program is designed to offer more renewable energy to customers who want more. But it will not be at the expense of non-solar consumers.
Details about the GSA Choice program can be found online.
Business customers can get more details here.
Regular customers you can get more information here.
Duke Energy Offers Renewable Energy Plans to Help Businesses and Consumers Go ‘Economy’
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