Duke Energy spending to modernize power grid

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Duke Energy is spending roughly $2.7 billion in the near term to modernize transmission and distribution infrastructure in Indiana and Ohio.

According to materials distributed Nov. 4 in connection with Duke’s third quarter earnings report, the company is making $1.4 billion in investment in Indiana T&D and $1.3 billion in Ohio T&D. Both Midwest efforts infrastructure investment that is recoverable through rate riders.

Legislation passed in Indiana during 2013 allows a utility file a seven-year infrastructure improvement plan with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), detailing proposed transmission, and storage system investments.

By contrast, most of Duke’s near-term infrastructure investment in the Southeast will be toward new power generation assets.

Meanwhile, Duke CEO Lynn Good said that site preparation is underway for the $1.1 billion Western Carolinas Modernization project, which includes plans for two 280 MW combined cycle natural gas-fired generation facilities and new transmission infrastructure.

The Foothills Transmission Line and substation near Campobello, South Carolina projects are no longer needed, Duke concluded in late 2015. The project should be completed in 2019.

Good noted that during the quarter that ended Sept. 30, Duke workers mobilized quickly to restore power to more than 1.7 million customers after widespread damage and historic flooding from Hurricane Matthew.

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