Duke Energy & Google: a powerful team

Duke Energy recently filed an application to launch a new renewable energy program in North Carolina. If approved, the program will enable select large customers to secure up to 100 percent of new electricity needs from renewable energy sources. The application was up for discussion Dec. 16 at a standing meeting of the North Carolina Utilities Commission. No ruling was issued during the meeting, but the Commission is likely either to rule in the coming days or establish a comment period to allow interested parties more time to review the proposal and offer comments to the Commission.

The application was foreshadowed in April, when Duke and Google, a key customer seeking expanded renewable energy options in North Carolina, announced Duke’s commitment to develop the program. In the seven months since the initial announcement, Duke worked to develop a program that responds to an increasingly prevalent trend: influential customers stepping forward to urge utilities to expand clean energy programs.

Data centers represent one of the fastest-growing sectors of electricity consumption, and leaders in this space, such as GoogleApple and Facebook, have taken bold steps to match their energy-hungry operations with renewable energy sources. Last month, for example, Facebook announced it would pair a new Iowa data center with a now-under-construction 138-MW wind farm. In most cases (like the Facebook Iowa example), the solution has been a single renewable energy project or portfolio of projects, sized to match the electricity needs of a particular data center or other large customer, and negotiated directly with the utility serving the data center.  Rest of GreenBiz article