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Duke Energy Carolinas withdraws proposal to purchase wind power

Duke Energy Carolinas has quietly abandoned plans for purchasing up to 500 megawatts worth of wind power capacity for the Carolinas by 2022 after finding the initial bids from producers “not economically attractive.”

Eleven months ago, Duke issued a request for proposals on wind power, expected to come from outside of North Carolina. It proposed offering power-purchase agreements of up to 20 years to buy wind power from projects, likely in the Midwest, that could be brought into the state.

“As we looked at the proposals, they were not economically attractive enough to go forward,” says Duke spokesman Randy Wheeless.

The decision was made in the spring, he says.

Duke is not ruling out purchasing wind as a renewable energy source in the future, he says. But the initial RFP has been abandoned.

“If it gets attractive enough to wheel power into the state in the future, we will look again,” Wheeless says.


Duke had included the possible purchase of 200 megawatts of wind power in its long-range power-generation plan – called the Integrated Resource Plan – for 2017 as a “place-holder” for what might come in through the RFP. Wheeless says it’s unclear right now whether the next plan will call for some wind in the generation mix.

Duke Carolinas just issued a request for proposals for the construction of 600 megawatts worth of new solar construction in the Carolinas. Its sister utility, Duke Energy Progress, has an RPF for an additional 80 megawatts. Those proposals are related to the Competitive Energy Solutions for NC Act adopted by the N.C. General Assembly last year. They are unrelated to the wind RFP.

Neither utility currently purchases any wind power, although Duke Carolinas bought small amounts on short-term contracts in the past to meet state renewable energy requirements.

Duke Energy Renewables, the commercial arm of parent Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK), owns and operates 2,300 megawatts worth of wind projects, mostly in the western half of the country.