In April 2017, Duke Energy proposed a $13 billion, 10-year plan to modernize North Carolina’s electric system. Dubbed the Power/Forward Carolinas initiative, Duke had proposed grid hardening, resilience, advanced metering infrastructure, and smart grid investments. However, after opposition from environmental groups, the plan was scaled down to $2.5 billion over a three-year period. Although settlement was filed with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) on June 1, 2018, on June 22, 2018, the NCUC rejected the Power/Forward Carolinas initiative outright without taking into consideration the settlement agreement.
It is likely that elements of the Power/Forward Carolinas initiative will be included in future proceedings, although no mention of the initiative was made in Duke’s most recent rates filing. The NCUC order rejecting the Power/Forward Carolinas initiative went on to invite the company to utilize existing proceedings, such as the Integrated Resource Planning and Smart Grid Technology Plan dockets, to propose grid modernization plans to the NCUC. Parts of those plans could closely align with elements of the original Power/Forward Carolinas plan, while not directly citing the initiative.
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Additional Contributing Author: Eileen Hurley
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