Client: Southern Environmental Law Center
Authors: Tyler Comings, Bryndis Woods, Liz Stanton, PhD, and Eliandro Tavares
Senior Researcher Tyler Comings, Researcher Bryndis Woods, Director and Senior Economist Liz Stanton, PhD and Assistant Researcher Eliandro Tavares prepared a report on Duke Energy's 2018 Integrated Resource Plans (IRPs) in North Carolina on behalf of Southern Environmental Law Center and its clients, Natural Resources Defense Council, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and the Sierra Club. AEC concluded that Duke has failed to evaluate the economics of its coal units, even though many are operating infrequently, and has not encouraged competition from other resources. As a result, AEC found Duke's plans to be flawed and incomplete.
August 2019 Update: Based in part on AEC comments, North Carolina Utilities Commission orders Duke Energy to re-evaluate coal units in 2020 IRPs.
AEC's comments (prepared for Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy) stated that Duke's IRP analysis: "...fails to consider whether existing resources can be cost effectively replaced with new resources. Therefore, Duke has not performed a least-cost analysis to design its recommended plans.” The Commission agreed, stating that: "It does not appear from the information in the IRPs that DEC and DEP have fully considered early retirement of any of these coal plants by replacing their contributions with other alternative generation resources or with energy efficiency (EE) and demand-side management (DSM) resources."
The order is available here.