Immediately following the weekend announcement by Dominion and Duke Energy cancelling the multi-billion dollar Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project, Duke reaffirmed the company’s long-term capital expenditure budget. Duke said that it will continue advancing its ambitious clean energy goals by investing in renewables, battery storage, energy efficiency programs and grid projects.
Earlier this year, Duke provided a 5-year capital investment forecast of $56 billion. At the time of cancellation, the estimated cost of the ACP project, between both companies, was $8 billion, though this had recently grown from a prior estimate of $4.5 to $5.0 billion.
Lynn Good, Duke Energy Chair, President and CEO said:
“Sustainability and the reduction of carbon emissions are closely tied to our region’s success. In our recent Climate Report, we shared a vision of a cleaner energy future with an increasing focus on renewables and battery storage in addition to a diverse mix of zero-carbon nuclear, natural gas, hydro and energy efficiency programs.
“Achieving this clean energy vision will require all of us working together to develop a plan that is smart, equitable and ensures the reliability and affordability that will spur economic growth in the region. While we’re disappointed that we’re not able to move forward with ACP, we will continue exploring ways to help our customers and communities, particularly in eastern North Carolina where the need is great.”
Since 2005, Duke has reduced its carbon emissions by 39% and remains on track to cut its carbon emissions by at least 50% by 2030. The company also has an ambitious clean energy goal of reaching net-zero emissions from electricity generation by 2050.
Duke Energy plans to file its Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) for the Carolinas in September 2020, following an extensive process of working with the state’s leaders, policymakers, customers and other stakeholders. The IRPs will include multiple scenarios to support a path to a cleaner energy future in the Carolinas.
Since 2010, Duke Energy has retired 51 coal units totaling more than 6,500 megawatts (MW) and plans to retire at least an additional 900 MW by the end of 2024. In 2019, the company proposed to shorten the book lives of another approximately 7,700 MW of coal capacity in North Carolina and Indiana.