Duke Energy announces scaled back project for western Carolinas

Duke Energy has backed away from a proposal that would have required 40 miles of massive transmission lines through the western Carolina mountains. (© Robert Llewellyn)

Today Duke Energy announced plans to abandon its proposed transmission line and substation in the western Carolinas, and scale down an oversized 650MW gas plant in Asheville, N.C. The possibility of this construction drew vocal opposition from local residents earlier this year until, in early October, Duke Energy decided it was pausing the project to reevaluate it. Today’s announcement is the first glimpse of the utility’s new proposal.

“Duke Energy’s decision to abandon its proposed power line and substation is a victory for the thousands of citizens across the western Carolinas who have stood up to protect the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Piedmont,” said Frank Holleman, Senior Attorney. “This Thanksgiving, we can be thankful that our communities and our mountains will be protected against these threats. We hope that in the future Duke Energy will turn away from old fossil fuels and turn toward modern clean alternatives like solar, wind, and energy efficiency. ”

"Duke Energy wisely yielded to the outcry opposing its ill-conceived power line, but still ignores calls to move our mountains past outdated fossil fuels," said D.J. Gerken, Senior Attorney "Slimming down this power plant is a half-step forward, but Duke should invest in clean renewable energy, like wind and solar, rather than committing to decades more fossil fuel electricity with a new gas plant."

SELC represents Upstate Forever in South Carolina and Sierra Club and MountainTrue in North Carolina in this matter.

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