Duke Energy Unveils Green Energy Project in South Carolina

Duke Energy Corp. ( - Free Report) recently unveiled the Green Source Advantage program - a new renewable energy project - to serve its South Carolina customers. However, successful implementation of the program remains subject to approval from the Public Service Commission of South Carolina ("PSCSC").

Through this project, the utility provider intends to provide renewable energy to large commercial and industrial customers in particular, supporting them in fulfilling clean energy goals.

Benefits of the Project

On approval, this project will enable Duke Energy to supply up to 150 megawatts (MW) of reserved renewable energy to its South Carolina customers. Participation in this project will enable the company's large non-residential customers to secure significant amounts of solar or other renewable energy.

Per the terms of the agreement, on participation in the renewable energy program, Duke Energy's large business customers will receive bill credits for energy produced by a solar site that is not located on the customers' premises. The program also enables customers to retain the renewable energy certificates (RECs) produced by the facility.

These perks that Duke Energy's customers will get on participating in the Green Source Advantage program should drive more customers to choose the company as their preferred utility provider.

Renewable Opportunities in South Carolina

To promote increased adoption of renewables, a handful of state commissions across America have made it mandatory for utilities to enhance their renewable portfolio. Being no exception, South Carolina is also following suit.

Notably, South Carolina's renewable energy portfolio continues to grow despite a nationwide loss of jobs in the solar industry. According to a new report from The Solar Foundation, the Palmetto State's solar industry experienced a 2.1% increase in employment last year, while the same declined 3.8% nationwide.

Interestingly, Duke Energy played a vital role in establishing renewable energy industry in South Carolina. To this end, in 2015, Duke Energy offered rebates to customers over there in order to help offset the initial costs of installing solar on their property. Naturally, the latest program should all the more bolster the company's position in the state.

Other Developments

Per a latest release from the U.S. Energy information administration (EIA), solar generation in the United States will rise 26% from 211,000 MWh/d in 2017 to 267,000 MWh/d in 2018 and 14% to 305,000 MWh/d in 2019 (an increase of 14%). Moreover, wind, solar, and other non-hydropower renewables provided slightly less than 10% of electricity generation in 2017. EIA expects them to provide more than 10% in 2018 and nearly 11% in 2019.

Realizing the expanding renewables market in the nation, U.S. utilities are aggressively investing in renewable projects and lowering their carbon footprints. The latest program proposed by Duke Energy is an example of that. In this regard, it is worth mentioning another utility provider - Xcel Energy ( - Free Report) - that achieved a 40% carbon-free generation portfolio. By 2022, its wind capacity alone will reach 40%, totaling a 61% carbon-free mix.

Per management, CMS Energy ( - Free Report) has taken a leadership position in the Utility sector by reducing its carbon emissions by more than 35% from 2005 to date, as of Jun 30, 2018. It also decreased its combined percentage of electric supply from coal by 16 percentage points since 2015.

Meanwhile, Ameren Corp ( - Free Report) aims at expanding its renewable sources by adding at least 700 megawatts (MW) of wind generation by 2020 in Missouri and neighboring states. Over the next 10 years, the company aims to add 100 MW of solar generation.

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