CHARLOTTE – Demand for electricity in the Carolinas is growing at the fastest rate in more than 30 years, reflecting an economic development boom that is exceeding expectations, a senior Duke Energy executive says.
As a result, state leaders need to be prepared to approve an “accelerated execution of an ‘all of the above’ strategy … to provide reliable electric service to a growing economy in the Carolinas.”
That’s the conclusion of Glen Snider, Duke Energy’s managing director of Carolinas Integrated Resource Planning and Analytics, in a Nov. 30 filing with the N.C. Utilities Commission. Charlotte-based Duke Energy dominates the state’s energy market, while also having a substantial market share in South Carolina.
Duke Energy regularly forecasts how much energy it needs to provide customers. But the pace of demand growth is surprising the company, prompting it to raise forecasts fewer than six months after its previous filing with state regulators.
“The current peak demand growth by 2030 is now approximately eight times the peak load growth projected in the 2022 Carbon Plan proceeding over the same time horizon,” Snider said in the filing.
Economic development wins in North Carolina have been well publicized, including the $5.9 billion Toyota Motor battery production plant in Randolph County and the $5 billion Wolfspeed chip manufacturing site in Chatham County. Those expansions, coupled with about a dozen less-heralded projects, are contributing to the demand growth, according to Duke Energy.