Duke Energy partners with major tech giants to propel carbon-free energy initiatives in Carolinas

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Duke Energy, in collaboration with Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Nucor, announced new initiatives to enhance carbon-free energy generation and address the energy needs of large businesses in North Carolina and South Carolina. This announcement, made at the White House Summit on Domestic Nuclear Deployment, marks a significant move towards sustainable energy practices in the region.

Strategic Development of New Energy Tariffs

As part of their commitment to sustainable energy, the companies have signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) this month, focusing on the development of innovative rate structures known as tariffs. These tariffs, specifically the proposed Accelerating Clean Energy (ACE) tariffs, are designed to reduce the long-term costs associated with investing in clean energy technologies, such as new nuclear energy and long-duration storage, through early commitments.

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The ACE tariffs aim to enable significant players like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Nucor to directly support investments in carbon-free energy generation. These arrangements would facilitate on-site generation at customer facilities, engagement in load flexibility programs, and investments in clean energy assets, providing a comprehensive approach to sustainable energy solutions.

Introduction of the Clean Transition Tariff

A key component of the ACE framework is the Clean Transition Tariff (CTT). This tariff allows Duke Energy to offer customized portfolios of new carbon-free energy to commercial and industrial customers, aligning clean energy generation with customer load to speed up grid decarbonization. This program, voluntary for larger customers, includes protective measures for those not participating, ensuring a balanced approach to energy transition.

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Future Steps and Regulatory Considerations

Looking ahead, Duke Energy is set to work with other customers who share similar energy needs and sustainability goals. The new tariffs will introduce voluntary pricing structures for Duke Energy’s large commercial and industrial customers and are subject to regulatory approvals in both North Carolina and South Carolina.

Industry Leaders’ Perspectives on the Collaboration

Lon Huber, Duke Energy’s SVP of Pricing and Customer Solutions, highlighted the importance of this initiative: “With the help of companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Nucor, we can accelerate our service of large customer needs and the transition to cleaner energy, reducing financial risks and supporting economic development in our communities.”

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Kevin Miller of Amazon Web Services and Briana Kobor of Google expressed their organizations’ commitment to leveraging these new sources of carbon-free energy to meet their ambitious environmental goals. Similarly, Jeff Riles of Microsoft and Greg Murphy of Nucor emphasized the importance of innovative frameworks like this agreement in advancing sustainable energy solutions and supporting their respective net-zero targets.

This collaboration between Duke Energy and leading global corporations represents a significant advancement in the adoption of renewable energy solutions, setting a model for corporate responsibility and innovation in energy management.

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