Energy Innovation Task Force announces cancellation of Duke’s Peaker Plant

Renewable energy illustration

Community partners also honored

 

The Energy Innovation Task Force (EITF) is excited to announce that through community collaboration, the gas-fired peaker plant, originally planned for 2023, has been pushed out beyond 2032.

“Delaying the need for any additional natural gas-fired generation in Buncombe County beyond 2032 is a big deal. The facility would have cost residential and business ratepayers more than $100 million paid for through higher electricity bills,”  said Brownie Newman, Chair of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners  and an EITF member. The peaker plant would have been used to ensure electricity production during peak demand times such as the coldest winter days.

The EITF is a groundbreaking, public-private partnership comprised of Buncombe County, the City of Asheville, Duke Energy, local businesses, and community organizations that formed to seek alternatives to the proposed peaker plant. Duke Energy spokesman Jason Walls says the group’s efforts to reduce energy consumption was pivotal in the utility’s decision to cancel the peaker plant.

Duke Energy has removed the proposal for a new peaker plant from its Integrated Resource Plan, which means there are no plans to construct a peaker plant in the next 15 years. Nevertheless, the EITF aims to double down and continue its efforts.

“The goal is to move our local energy systems away from fossil fuels and toward cleaner, more affordable sources of energy and to use energy as efficiently as possible. We still face the threat of climate change, and people want Asheville and Buncombe County be a leader in addressing it,” said Asheville City Councilwoman Julie Mayfield, an EITF member.

Read more in this announcement from Buncombe County.

 

Earlier announcement:

Energy Innovation Task Force to announce significant energy achievement, community innovation awards

Working in partnership with Buncombe County and Duke Energy, the City of Asheville is pleased to announce an Energy Innovation Task Force press conference set for 11 a.m. April 18 in Pritchard Park. The Energy Innovation Task Force has some exciting news for our region to share!

 

The Energy Innovation Task Force(EITF) is a public-private partnership focused on strategies to reduce our long-term energy consumption. As a collaborative task force, the EITF’s goals are to promote energy-efficiency programs that reduce peak energy demand and to help guide our community to a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy future. The task force has two main goals:

  • Avoid or delay the construction of an additional fossil fuel-powered combustion turbine electricity generation facility at Duke’s Asheville Plant site in 2023.
  • Transition Western North Carolina to a cleaner, more affordable and smarter energy future through mutually beneficial community engagement and collaboration between the community, customers and Duke Energy Progress.

 

Please join us at 11 a.m. April 18 in in Pritchard Park, then plan to participate in the Downtown Lunchtime Cleanup hosted by the Asheville Downtown Association and Asheville GreenWorks. You can register for the cleanup at this link.

 

Find more information about the Energy Innovation Task Force at this link.

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