Building a Smarter Energy Future
Duke Energy is shaping the energy future with cleaner, smarter solutions for Florida and its 1.8 million customers here in the Sunshine State.
That’s why the company is making strategic investments throughout its service area to improve system reliability, protect the environment and increase the use of renewable energy like solar.
In August, Duke Energy filed a revised settlement agreement with the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) that paves the way to a smarter energy future for Florida customers. If approved by the FPSC, the agreement will allow for $6 billion in investments in our communities over the next four years.
It’s all part of the company’s commitment to deliver energy that is reliable, increasingly clean and secure while also providing more value and choice for customers.
Here in Florida, the company will invest $1.2 billion in modernizing the power grid for a more reliable and secure system. These efforts will enhance reliability, reduce power outages and restoration times, and support the growth of renewable energy and emerging technologies.
For example, the company will move hundreds of miles of hard-to-access overhead power lines underground. The goal is to underground the least reliable vegetated overhead lines on the grid. This will significantly reduce outages and momentary interruptions, and can quicken restoration times after major events.
The company will also retrofit transformers and replace aged and/or deteriorating cable, conductors, poles and protective devices.
Specific projects include:
- • Retrofitting 215,000 transformers with new technology to prevent animal interference and lightning strikes
- • Replacing 1,500 miles of overhead conductor and 2,000 miles of underground cable that are more susceptible to failure
- • Improving physical and cybersecurity for line control devices
Another significant project for the company is the installation of advanced metering technology (smart meters) that will enable more bill-lowering tools, access to more information about energy use, and the ability to receive usage alerts, outage notifications and customized billing options.
All together, these improvements will help create an energy system for Florida that is more reliable and resilient—resulting in fewer outages, faster, easier restorations and better access to information.
Renewable energy choices
Many customers today want more renewable energy choices. And Duke Energy is dedicated to providing those options.
First, the company continues to add solar to its overall generation mix. The company will construct or acquire 700 megawatts (MW) of solar generation between 2018 and 2022, and will also implement a 50-MW battery storage pilot program. This will help to increase the proportion of energy from clean, renewable sources for all of the company’s Florida customers.
For customers looking for a different way to get involved, the company is excited to bring forward a new option called “shared solar.” Shared solar, also commonly referred to as “community solar,” allows customers the ability to participate in a solar program even if they are not able to install solar on their premises. The program gives customers a chance to provide more support in the creation of home-grown jobs, environmentally friendly renewable resources and the future development of shared solar projects in Florida. It’s also a measurable way for customers to reduce their carbon footprint.
And finally, the company is supporting its many customers who have already chosen to make the switch to electric vehicles by planning to install more than 500 new electric vehicle charging stations throughout the region.
Hamilton Solar Power Plant
The company is a strong supporter of solar energy. That’s why it’s building new solar power plants and working to ensure solar continues to take on an increasingly larger role in helping to meet customers’ energy needs.
The company plans to begin construction of the Hamilton Solar Power Plant, its sixth Florida solar power plant, in 2018. The plant will have approximately 300,000 solar panels and will be built on nearly 550 acres of land in Jasper, located in Hamilton County.
The Hamilton Solar Plant will produce 74.9 MW of clean, emissions-free energy, which is enough to power more than 20,000 homes at peak production.
During just the first year of operation, the Hamilton Solar Power Plant is expected to reduce 300 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions in Florida.
Why Smart Meters?
The company's shared solar pilot program gives customers a measurable way to offset their carbon footprint. Visit duke-energy.com/FLFuture for more information.