SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA)– South Carolina cannot avoid the growth that’s not only happening but is expected to continue in the years ahead.
“When you talk to our folks who do this type of planning for a living and have for many years, they haven’t seen this type of projected growth in more than 30 years,” said Ryan Mosier, a Duke Energy spokesperson.
The company is trying to decrease its carbon footprint. Their goal is to be coal-free by 2035 and carbon-neutral by 2050.
“Reliable technology, that takes natural gas, that takes nuclear, it takes looking at solar and other renewables that exist today but also looking at new technologies that are coming,” said Mosier. “Battery storage. When you compare a battery with solar, it really turns it into a much more valuable asset than solar by itself, those technologies are evolving and we are going to evolve our plans with it.”
The plan includes newer technology, and expanding nuclear and hydro-powered plants, like Bad Creek Hydro plant in Oconee County.
Mosier said they hope to expand this plant, providing more jobs.
“If we construct that facility, if we increase the capacity of that facility, we’re talking over $7 billion of economic impact for the state over the period it takes to build it,” said Mosier.
All of this, however, does come at a cost. Duke Energy said to accomplish these goals, electric bills will go up.
“In 10 years, the impact to a customer’s bill on a monthly basis would be about $35,” said Mosier.
He said the $35 minimum increase comes with a greener and more reliable future, but they also said if you have feedback, they want to hear it.
“Over the course of the coming months, folks will be able to offer their input as to what they think about the plan and that will go back and forth, and sometime in the spring, we’ll have a hearing where they will hash out differences and explore testimony and the data associated with the case,” said Mosier.
The Public Service Commission of South Carolina can revisit this long-term plan as things progress, every three years at a minimum, with annual updates being made by Duke Energy in between filings.
This plan will have to be approved separately in North Carolina and South Carolina. That could happen as early as the spring of 2024. For a full layout of the plan, click here.