Carbon-Free by 2050: Pathways to Achieving North Carolina’s Power-Sector Carbon Requirements

Southern Environmental Law Center
Coalition of Environmental Non-Profits
Project Completed September 2022

The Southern Environmental Law Center and North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association retained Synapse to model Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC) and Duke Energy Progress (DEP)’s system and identify the least-cost pathway for meeting Duke Energy’s carbon requirements under North Carolina House Bill 951. Synapse used the industry-standard EnCompass software for capacity expansion optimization and production cost analysis to simulate the Duke Energy system and identify the most cost-effective pathway for ratepayers.
We modeled three scenarios:

  • A Duke Resources scenario, which models the cost and performance a Duke Energy’s preferred portfolio according to its proposed Carbon Plan;
  • An Optimized scenario, which allows the EnCompass optimization to select the most cost-effective resources; and 
  • A Regional Resources portfolio, which allowed the EnCompass software to select wind power purchase agreements from outside Duke Energy’s service territory.

Based on the results of capacity expansion modeling, Synapse provided expert testimony to the North Carolina Utilities Commission identifying shortcomings of Duke Energy’s proposed Carbon Plan and making recommendations to the Commission for crafting a Carbon Plan in the public interest.