Duke Energy said it would perform a strategic review of its commercial renewable energy business, which includes around 5 GW of wind, solar, and battery generating capacity.
Since launching its first wind power project in 2008, Duke Energy Renewables has invested around $4 billion to deploy 2,300 MW of wind power at 21 wind farms across the country. It also owns and operates around 500 MW of photovoltaic (PV) solar power projects at more than 50 solar plants across the country.
During the company’s second quarter conference call, Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good said that while the line of business has been integral to the utility holding company’s growth, more opportunities exist in its regulated businesses for faster growth. She said “this is the appropriate time to review” the ongoing strategic fit of its commercial renewables business as the holding company looks to accelerate capital spending in its regulated utilities.
The review could be completed by late this year or early in 2023. The business unit represents less than 5% of Duke Energy’s earnings. Projected growth on the regulated side of the business ranges from 5-7%.
The business unit includes around $1.6 billion of debt and was valued at around $4 billion.
Part of Duke Energy’s expected growth would come from a proposed carbon plan filed with North Carolina regulators in mid-May. The plan contains four portfolios that aim to achieve an interim goal of a 70% carbon reduction by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050. The portfolios include a range of ways to retire existing coal generating resources and replace them with carbon free and dispatchable resources.
Duke Energy Renewables also includes operations and maintenance services to third-party renewables operators through Duke Energy Renewable Services. Operations and maintenance is supported by he company’s Renewable Control Center in Charlotte, N.C.
Duke Energy owns REC Solar, a provider of rooftop and ground-mounted solar, storage and microgrid systems for commercial-scale customers. Based in San Luis Obispo, Calif., REC Solar offers customer financing, including leases and power purchase agreements. Duke Energy also owns a majority interest in Phoenix Energy Technologies. The Irvine, Calif., company provides energy management systems and services.
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