A significant development was announced yesterday with regard to the power outages during severe, frigid weather this past weekend. The N.C. Utilities Commission will hold a hearing on Tuesday during which Duke Energy is being asked to answer questions about this situation. An article at BusinessNC.com discusses this hearing and provides the utility’s initial written statements regarding the outages in response to their inquiries:
“We had to conduct temporary outages due to the combination of temperatures that were lower than forecast, customer usage that was higher than projected, and challenges at some of our generating units – we are reviewing those issues now and will be sharing details with regulators. On top of that, we had limited options for additional capacity from outside of our service area due to extreme cold weather that impacted the eastern half of the United States. We made this difficult decision to protect the electric grid and reliability on our system, and to avoid a potential longer or broader outage to customers…
“Solar is part of our diverse energy mix that provides the best resources available throughout the day to meet customer demand. Unfortunately, we began reaching our peak demand for electricity on Dec. 24 before the sun came up, so solar was not available to help meet customer needs at that time. It did contribute during the day as weather conditions allowed.”
In addition, it is being reported that at least one of Duke’s generating stations failed in the extreme cold.
Carolina Journal had an article about the situation yesterday also.
And incredibly, the TV station WRAL had an article on Monday that hyped the state’s Carbon Plan— agreed upon by Governor Cooper and General Assembly Republicans– to make renewables a greater part of our energy mix, thereby leaving us more vulnerable to blackouts and outages. Our leaders need to look at what is happening with a critical eye, because it appears that monied interests are enticing them to do the wrong things.
What exacerbates the situation? Woke forces in the finance industry– like Blackrock– will preferentially extend capital to utility companies that use green energy. Those utilities that don’t gleefully participate risk losing access to capital.