Downtown Asheville Energy Investments
About the Projects
In the past 20 years, Asheville has grown and so have its energy needs. Duke Energy is working to provide energy the way customers want it – cleaner, smarter and more reliable.
The Downtown Asheville Energy Investments are a series of upgrades designed to modernize infrastructure and ensure reliable electricity to homes and businesses for years to come. The upgrades include:
- Rebuilding the substation located at Rankin Avenue, which is more than 50 years old
- Building a new substation near Patton Avenue, which the city of Asheville approved in 2019
Rankin Avenue Substation Rebuild
Duke Energy and the city of Asheville are working closely to plan the location, timing and aesthetics of the rebuilt substation, currently planned for the parcel adjacent to the existing substation located at Rankin Avenue and Hiawassee Street. Duke Energy is working through the regulatory process, including aesthetic considerations, with the city of Asheville and will continue to work in close partnership with the city throughout the planning, construction and restoration phases of the project.
Before construction begins, Duke Energy will install a temporary substation near Patton Avenue. The temporary substation will support reliable energy service during the Rankin Avenue substation rebuild.
Patton Avenue Substation Build
Once construction is complete at the Rankin Avenue substation, we will remove the temporary substation near Patton Avenue and will move forward with construction plans for the new Patton Avenue substation.
Approved by the Asheville City Council in 2019, the Patton Avenue plans include a GIS (gas-insulated) substation near the corner of Patton Avenue and Knoxville Place.
- January 2023: Duke Energy and city of Asheville restarted work to explore an ideal location for rebuilding the Rankin Avenue substation and discussed timing for the new Patton Avenue substation.
- February 2023: City of Asheville and Duke Energy began outreach and communicated updates with project neighbors. Duke Energy conducted site explorations and surveying at the proposed substation locations.
- Mid-2023: Duke Energy begins local regulatory process, including Informal and Formal Design Review, Technical Review, Downtown Commission and more.
Help power homes, community facilities and businesses in Downtown Asheville.Learn more
Help accommodate fluctuating demand and improve resiliency during severe weather.Learn more
Address the need for additional electric capacity in Downtown Asheville.Learn more
- The rebuilt substation at Rankin Avenue and the new substation at Patton Avenue will help enable Duke Energy to continue providing reliable electricity that meets Asheville’s growing energy needs.
- The rebuilt substation at Rankin Avenue will help mitigate against future energy disruptions as it will replace aging infrastructure.
- The new substation at Patton Avenue will help provide greater capacity for the growing community.
- Both projects play an integral role in helping to maintain and strengthen a robust system for supplying and delivering energy.
Original plans would have placed the Rankin Avenue Substation rebuild on the parcel of land between Rankin Avenue and Lexington Avenue, currently a public parking lot near a range of urban trees.
After reviewing feedback received from the community last summer, Duke Energy and the city of Asheville have been working together to identify an alternative location to rebuild the substation.
We are exploring rebuilding the substation on the parcel adjacent to the existing substation located at Rankin Avenue and Hiawassee Street. This proposed location takes into consideration previously raised concerns with vegetation removal and the loss of public parking at the original proposed location.
The plans to develop a substation at Patton Avenue will move forward. Duke Energy will begin construction immediately after the Rankin Avenue Substation rebuild is complete.
Duke Energy is working closely with the city of Asheville to complete the regulatory requirements and approvals necessary to pursue the substation construction projects. Approvals and requirements include neighborhood informational meetings, Informal and Formal Design Reviews, Technical Review and review by the Downtown Commission.
Duke Energy will explore aesthetic considerations and will share plans with the community in the coming months.
Yes. We will proactively communicate updates to project neighbors, which will include an opportunity to ask questions or share comments.
We do not anticipate any power outages during the construction process. In the unlikely event that an unforeseen outage does occur, it will be met with immediate attention to restoration by the Duke Energy team.
Minimal vegetation clearing is expected at Rankin Avenue. Vegetation clearing plans will be developed at a later date for Patton Avenue.
At this time, no road, sidewalk or parking closures or changes are expected due to the installation of the temporary substation.
No, the temporary substation near Patton Avenue is used during construction of the Rankin Avenue substation rebuild. Once complete, the temporary substation will be removed and construction on the new Patton Avenue substation will begin.