- Aug 20, 2019 9:32 pm GMT
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The North Carolina Dept. of Environmental Quality issued the final draft of a new Clean Energy Plan last Friday. Top-of-the-line goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 60-70% relative to 2005 levels by 2030 and aiming for zero emissions by 2050.
These goals are to be achieved by retiring 4GW of coal power generation and instituting measures to broaden and accelerate adoption of both utility-scale and distributed solar and other renewable energy resources to replace it. More specifically, the proposed plan includes creating a state clean energy fund, support for development of an offshore wind power supply chain and more careful review of utility proposals to add conventional grid resources.
North Carolina has already established a competitive framework supporting solar power deployment that aims to foster the roll-out of 4GW of large-scale solar by 2025. Duke Energy utility-scale deployments dominate what's been installed so far. Independent power producers and others, including consumers, would like to see more competition, and more in the way of distributed solar, wind, energy storage and other smart, clean-tech grid options.
Commenting on the growth of DERs, the draft report states:
“As RE and (DER) costs continue to fall and penetration rises, these assets will reach a point where they can be treated as a true grid resource, providing services that benefit both the customer and the utility. Intelligently managed DERs could offer a vision of a world where demand may be as easily dispatchable as supply,” the draft report states. Energy storage will also have a role to play in enabling more renewables, with the report citing the recent pilot of a solar-plus-storage for a rural community."