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Renewable & Alternative Energy

2012 Corporate Responsibility Report

Renewable and alternative energy are key components in our long-term balanced approach to meeting growing electricity demand. We are committed to increasing the development and use of renewable and alternative energy technologies, including solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric power.

In 2011, we purchased approximately 2.87 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of renewable energy, double what we purchased in 2010. Progress Energy Florida purchased 1.22 million MWh, and Progress Energy Carolinas purchased 1.65 million MWh. This electricity came from hydroelectric producers, municipal solid waste incinerators, heat-recovery/cogeneration plants, biomass plants, landfill methane producers and solar energy systems in the Carolinas and Florida. Both utilities continued to seek new renewable energy projects through requests for proposals from renewable energy suppliers.

Large Scale Renewable Projects

North Carolina Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) 

In 2007, North Carolina became the first state in the Southeast to enact a renewable energy and energy-efficiency portfolio standard (REPS). Progress Energy and other utilities worked collaboratively with state policymakers to develop this law, which requires the state’s electric companies to increase their use of renewable energy. Progress Energy Carolinas (PEC) must purchase or generate:

  • 3 percent of our energy from renewable resources in 2012;
  • 6 percent in 2015;
  • 10 percent in 2018; and
  • 12.5 percent in 2021.

PEC may meet up to 25 percent of the renewable requirement with energy-efficiency measures through 2020 and up to 40 percent thereafter. PEC also may meet 25 percent through the purchase of out-of-state renewable energy credits.  In addition, the law includes specific energy requirements related to solar plants and energy derived from swine and poultry waste, two significant farming waste streams in North Carolina.  Importantly, North Carolina’s REPS includes economic protection provisions for customers, capping costs at $12 per year for residential customers for 2012 through 2014, and $34 per year thereafter.

Solar Compliance

North Carolina’s REPS compliance goals include a 0.02 percent solar set-aside in 2011. We successfully acquired approximately 8,000 MWh of solar energy to meet this requirement and are on track to meet future targets. We have a three-pronged approach to compliance, which includes using a competitive bidding process for utility-scale projects and offering ongoing incentives under the SunSense® commercial and residential PV programs. Projects under contract include a variety of technologies, system sizes and locations. This enables us to diversify our portfolio while consistently evaluating this dynamic market.

Overall REPS Compliance

In 2011, Progress Energy Carolinas continued its efforts to contract for renewable resources in preparation to meet the first overall requirement – 3 percent in 2012. This target translates to more than 1 million MWh. The company currently has contracts for 240 megawatts (MW) of generation to be used toward renewable energy compliance goals.

Significant North Carolina renewable purchase agreements executed in 2011 include:


  • 2.4 MW in Scotland County
  • 3 MW in Person County
  • 3 MW in Henderson County
  • Various other commercial-scale solar and solar thermal projects throughout PEC’s service territory


  • 6.4 MW landfill gas in Montgomery County
  • 24 MW of wood biomass and tire-derived waste in Person County
  • 36 MW of poultry waste-to-biogas energy to be built in Duplin County
  • 44 MW of wood biomass and tire-derived waste in Brunswick County