Energy Storage Picks Up Momentum

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Battery energy storage will play a significant role as Duke Energy aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) from electricity generation at least 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

Among several benefits, energy storage increases grid flexibility, which helps manage the continued growth of intermittent renewable resources on the energy grid.

The company currently has plans for approximately 375 megawatts (MW) of energy storage across our regulated businesses over the next five years, representing about $600 million of new investment.

Already, the company has commercial and regulated battery projects operating in Indiana, Ohio, North Carolina and Texas – and more are planned, with some coming online in 2021.

In North Carolina, the company brought online the state’s largest battery last year – a nearly 9-MW facility in Asheville.

In South Carolina, an innovative microgrid setup is being planned at the Anderson County Civic Center. A 5-MW battery will be grid-connected and will provide backup power at the facility, which supports several emergency service agencies and serves as the state’s largest hurricane evacuation shelter.

In Florida, the company is well on its way to install 50 MW of battery storage with six projects under construction in the state in 2021 – improving grid reliability and power quality.

A unique project is currently under construction – combining solar power and battery storage at John Hopkins Middle School in St. Petersburg. It will also serve as a microgrid and deliver backup power when the school serves as a special needs hurricane evacuation shelter.

Of course, batteries are not the only energy storage technology. The company has 2,200 MW of pumped storage hydro power. Over the next three years, Duke Energy will increase the capacity at its Bad Creek facility in South Carolina by 280 MW as it upgrades the facility.