Thursday, August 1, 2013

UNC to Duke Energy: Include us in renewables rate

The 17-campus University of North Carolina system wants in on the renewable-energy rate Duke Energy has proposed for large energy users such as data farms.

In a letter to new Duke CEO Lynn Good this week, UNC president Tom Ross notes that system's goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050. But 3 percent annual growth in the system's footprint makes that target a challenge, Ross writes.

Duke said in April it would seek a new rate structure for large customers to boost development of renewable energy. The news came as Google announced a $600 million expansion of its Lenoir data center.

Ross' letter, provided by Greenpeace, said UNC likes the idea and could become "a potentially significant customer" of the new rate class. He asks that the university system be allowed input into the rate design before it's submitted to the N.C. Utilities Commission.

Duke spokesman Randy Wheeless said the tariff will be filed with the commission in the next few weeks. UNC "would definitely fit the profile" of potential customers, he said.


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