Green-energy advocates will press Duke Energy at a Thursday night hearing for more wind and sun power and less reliance on nuclear and coal-fueled electricity.
The advocates numbers persuaded the N.C. Utilities Commission, which was deluged by e-mails and petitions, to schedule the Charlotte hearing in addition to one held Feb. 11 in Raleigh.
The subject of both meetings is the 20-year growth plans North Carolina utilities are required to file every other year. The integrated resource plans project future demand for electricity and how it will be generated.
Environmentalists view the plans as their chance to demand Duke move away from fossil fuels and nuclear power and toward emission-free solar and wind and energy efficiency.
Two Duke subsidiaries serve most of North Carolina.
Duke Energy Carolinas, which serves Charlotte and the western end of the state, forecasts a 45 percent drop in coal use by 2032 and an 86 percent increase in cleaner-burning natural gas. Nuclear generation stays about the same 20 years from now, supplying about half the utilitys energy generation.
Renewable energy would expand rapidly but still supply only 3 percent of Duke Carolinas generation in 2032, disappointing green-energy advocates.
The changes reflect the recent or upcoming retirements of 38 coal and gas-fueled power plant units, slowing demand for electricity and falling prices for natural gas. Duke Carolinas has or will soon open one new coal-fired power plant and two gas-fired plants.
Thursdays hearing will be at 7 p.m. in courtroom 5310 of the Mecklenburg County Courthouse, 832 E. Fourth St.
Henderson: 704-358-5051 Twitter: @bhender
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