Generating one-third of the company’s electricity, nuclear power is Duke Energy’s largest source of carbon-free energy.
All the company’s 11 nuclear generating units in the Carolinas have been operating for longer than 30 years. Yet, in many ways, the units are operating better than ever.
The company’s fleet achieved a combined capacity factor of 93 percent in 2018, which is above the industry average. That means the units were operating practically all the time. It was the 20th consecutive year the fleet capacity factor exceeded 90 percent.
Many units of the company’s plants produced record generation during 2018 – in either specific months or quarters. That power was needed during the hottest and coldest days of the year – since 2018 had both extreme cold and heat in the Carolinas.
Continuous operation marks of more than 500 days in a row were hit by several units in 2018. For the nuclear industry, that was unheard of 20 years ago.
With the company looking to reduce 2005 greenhouse gas levels by 40 percent by 2030, nuclear generation is the cornerstone for achieving this target.