- Feedback from diverse stakeholders was – and will continue to be – critical in developing renewable options for customers - Nation-leading proposals are designed to help recruit and retain companies looking to achieve their own clean energy goals
Duke Energy has proposed the creation of innovative customer renewable programs and a major expansion of an existing one to allow South Carolina customers the option to supplement their power usage with 100% renewable power – a critical need for many businesses seeking to relocate or expand operations in the Palmetto State.
Details were spelled out today in filings with the Public Service Commission of South Carolina.
"Many of our largest customers prioritize renewable power sources and are making decarbonization a long-term part of their business plans," said Lon Huber, Duke Energy's senior vice president of pricing and customer solutions. "Duke Energy is proud to offer these customers a wide range of options including the ability to match their hourly use with carbon-free energy in one of the country's first 24x7 clean energy programs."
That program – Renewable Choice – would allow large-load customers to contract with either of Duke Energy's South Carolina utilities to provide locally sourced environmental attributes, including renewable energy certificates (REC), generated from both utility-owned generation assets as well as third-party owned generation assets and could include energy-storage options. This program is designed to meet the needs of the companies most advanced in their sustainability journey. If approved, South Carolina would have one of the first tariffed programs for time-aligned clean energy in the country.
These proposals come after extensive conversations with customers, developers and advocate groups to learn more about what they need to achieve their carbon and sustainability goals.
"A majority of South Carolina's leading employers have explicit decarbonization goals, and the carbon intensity of electricity suppliers is top-of-mind for economic development prospects too," said Mike Callahan, Duke Energy's South Carolina state president. "Recruiting the next big employer to South Carolina may hinge on helping achieve their corporate sustainability goals. We believe these programs and the stakeholder feedback that helped create them will be critical in attracting and retaining companies in the 21st century."
Another innovative program being proposed – Clean Energy Impact – is ideal for non-residential customers that want to claim a certain percentage of renewable energy through environmental attribute purchases in support of corporate sustainability goals, or for residential customers that would like to support the local renewable energy industry.
Changes are also being requested for an existing program – Green Source Advantage – an option that allows large customers to offset their power purchases by securing renewable energy from projects connected to the Duke Energy grid. The customer may count the renewable energy generated to satisfy sustainability or carbon-free goals.
Proposed changes include the ability for customers to contract for up to 100% of their energy use compared to the current approximately 30%, as well as expanding the number of solar resources available to customers under the program. As with Renewable Choice, customers can also combine energy storage with their project – allowing them to align the production of renewable energy with their energy load.
These programs are to be sourced from solar generation currently going through the companies' competitive procurement processes. If approved, both current customers and customers who are in the process of locating their business to South Carolina can sign up for these programs in advance.