Since 2007 Duke Energy has invested more than $2.5 billion to build its wind and solar power businesses. The company has more than 1,000 megawatts of clean, renewable wind energy in commercial operation.
Investing in zero-carbon wind power is one way Duke Energy is trying to reduce its environmental footprint while meeting demand for reliable, affordable and increasingly clean electricity.
Commercial Wind Power Development
Through a series of strategic acquisitions and development projects, Duke Energy has positioned itself as a leader in the field of wind power generation.
Duke Energy entered the wind energy sector in 2007 with the acquisition of Austin, Texas-based Tierra Energy, a leading wind project development company. The purchase brought Duke Energy more than 1,000 megawatts of wind assets under development in the Western and Southwestern United States. Duke Energy finalized its purchase of Catamount Energy, based in Rutland, Vt., in September 2008, significantly enhancing its wind portfolio. The acquisition included a 50 percent stake in the Sweetwater project in Nolan County, Texas – one of the largest wind projects in the country.
Duke Energy owns and operates a total of 11 wind farms: four in Wyoming, three in Texas, and one apiece in Colorado, Kansas, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Duke Energy Renewables will put into operation another four new large-scale wind farms totaling more than 600 megawatts of zero-emission generation. These new wind farms – two in Texas, one in Kansas and one in Pennsylvania – will help us produce enough wind energy to power more than a half-million homes by 2013.
For more information on Duke Energy’s commercial wind power business, please visit our Duke Energy Renewables pages.
Wind Power in our Retail States
Technological advancements have now paved the way to effectively harness the wind to produce electricity in certain regions of the country.
Duke Energy reached an agreement in August 2006 to purchase up to 100 megawatts of wind power capacity at Indiana’s first commercial wind farm in Benton County, Indiana. The 20-year agreement was the first significant, long-term purchase of wind power in Indiana. Duke Energy began purchasing power from the Benton County Wind Farm in April 2008.
North Carolina and Florida
Small-Scale Wind Turbines: We are studying the potential for small-scale wind turbines around our service territory in North Carolina and Florida. The goal of these programs is to test the potential for small-scale, grid-tied, distributed wind-generation projects in the 1 to 100 kilowatt range.
Offshore Wind Feasibility Study: We are investing in a three-year study of the potential for offshore wind power in North Carolina. Led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this is the most comprehensive mapping of offshore wind to date and will provide specific data and forecasting tools to help decision-makers plan for potential offshore wind power projects.
Wind for Schools
Progress Energy Carolinas, a Duke Energy company, is a partner in the Madison County Wind for Schools project – the first rural wind power education program east of the Mississippi River. This project is modeled after the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind for Schools initiative, and is part of an effort to introduce wind power to rural communities and initiate community discussions around the benefits and challenges of alternative-energy resources.
The Madison County Wind for Schools program is a regional partnership that installed small wind turbines at two schools in Madison County, N.C., and developed a K-12 alternative-energy curriculum.
Progress Energy Carolinas sponsored the 2-kilowatt wind turbine at Hot Springs Elementary School. Another turbine was installed at Madison High School, and a third was installed at the Madison County Cooperative Extension Office.
- The partnership includes the Appalachian Regional Commission, Mountain Valleys Resource Conservation and Development, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Progress Energy Carolinas, French Broad Electric Membership Corporation, the Madison County School System, the Madison County Cooperative Extension Service, Appalachian State University, Sundance Power and Southwest Wind Power.