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Duke asks to expand program that lets large customers contract for renewable energy

Duke Energy has asked North Carolina regulators to approve the expansion of a program that lets large customers contract for renewable energy.

The proposed Green Source Advantage Choice program is required by the state's 2021 energy reform law and would build on a pilot program that began in 2019.

If approved, it would help companies, municipalities and other large customers use solar or wind power to meet their climate goals, says Wendi Fleener, Duke's Director of Clean Energy.

" It's what they want," she said, "And so we've modified it to meet a couple of key needs of what we know would be important."

The new program would have more than 10 times the capacity of the current one, which has just four customers: the city of Charlotte, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Duke University. None have completed projects yet, mainly because of solar supply chain and cost issues.

The new version also adds an option for battery storage, which would help companies use renewable energy 24 hours a day, instead of just when there's sun or wind.

Duke also proposed a separate program, called Clean Energy Impact. It would give businesses and consumers the option to buy renewable energy credits that would allow them to support solar and wind development.