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Duke Energy (DUK) Unveils PowerPair Program in North Carolina

Duke Energy Corp. DUK is set to administer its application, PowerPair, for installing residential solar power generation with battery energy storage for its customers in North Carolina. PowerPair is a new incentive-based pilot program offered to DUK’s customers in Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress service areas.

Duke Energy has developed PowerPair in partnership with several stakeholder groups under the guidance of the North Carolina Utility Commission.

Benefits of the Program

This one-time incentive-based program, which aims to make a home solar plus battery system more accessible for its users, has the ability to provide up to $9,000 in incentives for DUK’s residential customers who install a solar plus battery system. The incentive depends on the type of solar array and battery deployed.

This pilot program offers two enrollment options for its participants. Participants can either get themselves enrolled on a residential solar choice rider or through a net metering bridge rider and win a one-time incentive of up to $9,000.

Duke Energy’s Focus on Solar & Storage

With industries across the globe increasingly adopting renewable energy as their preferred source of energy, solar power has emerged as one of the most promising among them. As electricity demand has been growing rapidly, utility companies like Duke Energy are expanding their footprint in the solar energy market to offer cost-effective and clean power to their customers.

Per a report posted by the company in May 2023, in the Carolinas, Duke Energy operated more than 45 solar facilities and had more than 4,600 MW of solar power connected to its energy grid. As of Dec 31, 2023, DUK operated 1,200 MW of solar in Florida, with plans to continue adding approximately 300 MW in 2024. With this, the company remains on track to bring 1,500 MW of solar in service by 2024-end and 6,500 MW by 2031-end. To successfully achieve this target, the company aims to make a capital investment of $1.5 billion in new solar generation during the 2025-2027 period.

Moreover, realizing solar plus battery storage as the next booming market, Duke Energy has also been expanding its footprint in the energy storage market. As of March 2023, the company’s regulated utilities had about 90 MW of battery energy storage projects in operation. Duke Energy aims to bring 2,700 MW of battery storage into service by 2031.

As Duke Energy continues to enhance its renewable energy portfolio through solar plus battery storage initiatives, it offers its customers profitable programs like PowerPair, which provide them with incentives to adopt combined solar power and battery storage residential systems from the company.

Growth Prospects

Factors like declining installation costs, increasing awareness to adopt clean energy and favorable government policies are expected to drive the global solar industry in the coming days. Meanwhile, the rapid electrification of transport and building sectors has been boosting the demand for energy storage significantly.

This has set the stage for the solar plus battery storage market to boom in the coming years. To this end, the RationalStat firm expects the global solar energy and battery storage market value to rise at a strong CAGR of more than 7.8% over the 2023-2030 period. This indicates favorable growth prospects for DUK.

Along with DUK, other utility companies like DTE Energy DTE, NextEra Energy, Inc. NEE and CMS Energy Corporation CMS are also expanding their operations to reap the benefits of the growing demand of the solar energy and battery energy storage market.

DTE Energy aims to develop 6,500 MW of solar projects by 2042. Additionally, it plans to accelerate the development of energy storage, targeting 780 MW through 2030 and 1,830 MW by 2042.

To promote clean energy, the company also has its MIGreen Power program, through which DTE Electric offers its customers the option to voluntarily source their energy usage from renewables. This program aims at substantially accelerating the development of new solar projects across Michigan.

NextEra Energy’s subsidiary, NextEra Energy Resources, expanded its contracted renewable backlog by adding 2,060 MW of renewable projects during the fourth quarter of 2023. Its backlog additions include nearly 1,005 MW of solar projects and 805 MW of battery storage projects.

As the world’s largest generator of solar energy, NEE has more than 180 MW of battery energy storage systems in operation.

CMS Energy company aims to add nearly 8,000 MW of solar generation by 2040. It also plans to deploy battery storage beginning in 2024, with 75 MW of energy storage by 2027 and an additional 475 MW by 2040.

The company has also announced plans to construct an 85 MW solar array at the former D.E. Karn coal-generating facility. The facility is expected to be operational in 2026.

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