Building a Sustainable Future
Now more than ever, Duke Energy has a responsibility to produce and deliver energy to our customers that’s reliable, affordable and increasingly clean.
That’s where sustainability comes in. We believe sustainability means doing business in a way that is good for people, the planet and profits. And as one of the largest electric service providers in the U.S., we know our operations have an impact on the environment.
We’re working to reduce our eco-footprint by upgrading environmental controls at many of our fossil fuel-powered generation plants; retiring older coal units; pursuing the development of new nuclear stations; investing heavily in renewable energy and smart grid technology; and pioneering new programs and offers to help our customers become more energy efficient.
For a closer look at our progress to becoming a more sustainable company, please visit our Sustainability page.
A key aspect of Duke Energy’s sustainability success is our safe, reliable and efficient plant operations. The average capacity factor for our nuclear fleet – a measure of reliability – has remained at greater than 90 percent for the past 10 years.
In 1970, the United States government took action to reduce air pollutants and greenhouse gases by passing the Clean Air Act. The act established strict guidelines for the particulate and gaseous emissions of U.S. power plants and industrial facilities. The first nuclear plants began producing electricity in 1973 and have steadily contributed to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions ever since.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!
- Producing no carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide or nitrogen dioxide, nuclear energy reduces greenhouse gas emissions by substituting for fossil fuels that otherwise would have been burned to generate electricity.
- Since work began at the Lee Nuclear site, we have reused 63,725 cubic yards of concrete for crusher-run in road beds, as well as riprap around site ponds.
- Duke Energy has recycled 6,200 gross tons of steel from old buildings demolished during the Lee Nuclear site preparation for reuse.
The Nature Conservancy released a study on land use for new energy production and reported that nuclear energy uses the least land per unit of energy generated.