Duke plans to reach 6000 MW of renewable energy by 2020

Duke Energy Progress Energy wind solar biomass nuclear coal natural gas

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) has released its most recent sustainability report, which lists a goal of increasing the company’s renewable portfolio and reaching 6,000 MW of wind, solar and biomass power capacity by 2020 among its other goals.

Duke added nearly 650 MW of wind and solar capacity in the U.S. in 2012 and now owns more than 1,700 MW of wind and solar generation capacity, according to the report. Duke Energy Renewables has invested more than $2.5 billion in renewable energy since it began operation in 2007.

In addition, Duke’s regulated capacity began purchasing an additional 106 MW of solar power in the Carolinas in 2012 for a total of 150 MW of solar power capacity across the two states, according to the report. The company’s other regulated service areas started purchasing an additional 10 MW of solar power capacity in 2012, bringing the total capacity to 25 MW across those states.

Duke is also focusing on energy efficiency by working to reduce energy consumption. The company said it hopes to achieve a cumulative reduction in customer energy consumption of 15,000 GWh and a cumulative reduction in peak demand of 4,800 MW by 2020.

The report also discusses the company’s goal in reducing its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, lowering its emissions by 17 percent from 2005 emission levels by 2020. The company states it plans to accomplish this by replacing older coal-fired power plants with new, advanced technology coal and natural gas plants. According to the report, the company has invested $9 billion in five new plants, three of which were completed in 2012 and two additional plants that are currently in progress, and will have retired about 3,400 MW worth of capacity in older coal units by the end of 2013. That number will increase to 6,300 MW over the next fear years, the company stated.

The sustainability report also states the company is working to integrate its three legacy Duke Energy nuclear plants with four former Progress Energy nuclear plants acquired in a merger. Currently, the company operates more than 10,000 MW of nuclear generating capacity and has submitted license applications for new nuclear generation units at three sites.

Although the company had anticipated receiving the licenses in 2013, it stated those licenses are expected to be delayed because of regulatory issues in the industry.

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