Duke Energy
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North Carolina's Largest Battery System Now Operating at Duke Energy Substation

Aug. 27, 2020
Project to help electric system operate more efficiently, provide energy support including frequency regulation.

Duke Energy recently began operating the largest battery system in North Carolina. In the city of Asheville, a 9-MW lithium-ion (Li-ion) Samsung battery system is operating next to a Duke Energy substation in the Shiloh community.

With a total cost of less than US$15 million, the project will be primarily used to help the electric system operate more efficiently. It will provide energy support to the electric system, including frequency regulation and other grid support services.

"Energy storage will play a significant role in how we deliver energy to customers now and into the future as we act to reduce carbon emissions by at least 50% by 2030 and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050," said Stephen De May, Duke Energy's North Carolina president.

Duke Energy has plans to invest US$600 million for 375 MW of energy storage across its regulated businesses. The company has more than a decade of experience with battery storage. At one time, Duke Energy's 36-MW battery system next to the company's Notrees Wind Facility in Texas was the largest battery operating in the United States.

In Haywood County, the company installed a solar plus storage microgrid on top of Mount Sterling at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The project included the removal of a single overhead electric line, which resulted in 13 acres of parkland returned to its natural state. This facility continues to serve a remote emergency communications tower less expensively and more reliably.

"We have a long history of testing new battery technologies with a number of battery manufacturers," said De May. "Our research work is now paying off with larger projects that will provide customers more reliable service with lower overall emissions."

The battery storage project is just one of many Duke Energy investments in the region. The company recently finished construction of the US$817 million Asheville Combined Cycle Station, which became fully operational on April 5, 2020. The new station replaced a 344-MW, two-unit coal plant at the Asheville site, which retired on Jan. 29, 2020.

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