Duke Energy is improving the electric grid, making it more resilient and more resistant to outages from severe weather, and preparing it to enable cleaner energy options and a lower-carbon future.
Today’s electric grid is built upon a foundation of power plants that push energy in one direction to homes and businesses. But as renewable energy and other distributed generation sources expand, managing that energy flow becomes more complex. Instead of one-way power flow generated at the time customers need it, power needs to flow in multiple directions from locations across the grid, and often when there isn’t customer demand for energy to match.
Duke Energy is seeing substantial growth in renewables across the system. For example, in North Carolina in 2020, grid-connected rooftop solar installations jumped by 50 percent, with around 18,000 solar sites now connected across the state.
That’s why the company is making improvements now to ready the grid for more renewables and distributed technologies, and to support the company’s commitment to significantly expand cleaner energy and achieve net-zero carbon emissions from electricity generation by 2050.
The company is also building a smart-thinking grid that intelligently manages the two-way power flow needed to sustainably grow solar, wind, battery storage, and electric vehicles.
This technology also provides resiliency benefits by automatically detecting outages and quickly rerouting power to other lines to restore power faster or avoid the outage altogether. In 2020, smart, self-healing technology helped avoid more than 800,000 extended customer outages, saving more than 1.8 million hours of lost outage time. The company plans to significantly expand the capabilities and benefits of this technology over the next few years.
With grid improvement initiatives taking place in every state we serve, our goal is to better serve customers across a smarter, more resilient, green-enabled grid that is ready for the energy opportunities that lie ahead.