Duke Energy secured approval from the North Carolina Utilities Commission this week to offer more renewable energy to its most energy-intensive customers in the state, including data centers, manufacturers and college campuses.
Duke's "green source" program comes at the request of customers like Google, which opened a $600 million data center in Lenoir, NC, and asked Duke Energy to provide them with more renewable energy offerings.
This is great news for economic development, jobs and the environment in North Carolina. Duke's green source program will increase renewable energy investment beyond the goal set by North Carolina’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard.
Under the green source program, Duke Energy will work with eligible customers to identify the amount, type and source of renewable energy they want. Duke will then arrange long-term power purchase agreements with solar, wind or other renewable energy suppliers. Participating companies pay any additional costs of purchasing renewable energy.
The three-year pilot program has some big gaps. It limits participation to new or expanding corporate facilities. It is not available to owners of commercial buildings and small businesses.
The program also does not address the growing demand from homeowners for more renewable energy choices, particularly rooftop solar.
Still, the green source program is an important step in providing Duke’s most energy intensive customers with more options for renewable energy. EDF applauds Duke Energy and the customers that worked together to develop this program.