Duke Energy serves customers, sets records in the Carolinas last week through record heat and extreme weather events | Duke Energy
Duke Energy Carolinas reached two new summer peak usage records: 21,086 megawatt-hours on June 13; 21,265 megawatt-hours on June 15.
Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress set new combined usage record: 34,089 megawatt-hours on June 13.
Duke Energy completed restoration of more than 400,000 customers Sunday night from explosive weekend storms.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Energy crews and grid operators last week successfully managed record-breaking power usage while dealing with the aftermath of severe storms across its two Carolinas utilities.
The company’s Duke Energy Carolinas utility, which serves central and western North Carolina, set a summertime record for electricity usage on Monday, June 13, as the week’s heat wave drove up energy demand to peak levels. That record was beaten just two days later with more record heat and usage on Wednesday.
The new summer peak usage record is 21,265 megawatt-hours of electricity for the hour ending at 5 p.m., Wednesday, June 15, 2022 – exceeding the previous summertime record of 21,086 megawatt-hours, set two days earlier on June 13, 2022.
Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress also achieved a new combined summer peak usage record on Monday, June 13, 2022, of 34,089 megawatt-hours of electricity consumption for the hour ending at 6 p.m..
“We had a full week of very high temperatures, which resulted in record customer summer usage, but we had an effective plan in place and extensive preparations ahead of the season to reliably serve our customers throughout this stretch of hot weather,” said Sam Holeman, Duke Energy vice president of system planning and operations.
Big storms, bigger response
Duke Energy also dealt with multiple severe storms that struck its service area over the last week. Storms on Thursday hit portions of South Carolina and North Carolina kept Duke Energy crews and contractors busy overnight into Friday, only to be met by an even stronger, wind-driven storm on Friday evening.
Explosive winds pummeled the service area, especially around the Triangle region of central North Carolina, where severe storms accumulated more than 100,000 outages in Wake and Durham counties, and surrounding area, in about an hour.
“The storms erupted quickly and brought intense straight-line winds that resulted in significant outages across the state,” said Jason Hollifield, Duke Energy’s system storm response manager for the Carolinas. “We immediately put our crews to work in the field overnight Friday and into the weekend to restore outages, as well as shifting thousands of workers to hardest hit areas to assist with restorations.”
Around 6,000 Duke Energy workers and contractors, including 2,000 in the Triangle area alone, worked to restore power at more than 2,000 outage locations damaged by high winds and lightning. Despite the challenges of downed trees, broken poles and lines that had to be repaired and rebuilt, crews restored more than 350,000 customers within 24 hours of the storm. By the time restoration was complete Sunday evening, more than 400,000 total customers had been restored.
“The sun and blue skies on Saturday really masked the extent of the severe damage we were working in some of our hardest hit areas,” said Hollifield. “We know that when temperatures are high, an outage can be very unpleasant for customers. Our crews worked relentlessly to repair damage and get power back on as quickly and safely as we could for our customers.”
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 50,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 28,000 people.
Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy transition to achieve its goals of net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business and at least a 50% carbon reduction from electric generation by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The 2050 net-zero goals also include Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 emissions. In addition, the company is investing in major electric grid enhancements and energy storage, and exploring zero-emission power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.
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Media contact: Jeff Brooks
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