We’ve been planning for a brighter, more sustainable future for a long time. We’ve spent the past decade reducing our dependence on carbon-intensive power generation, and as a result, our current fuel mix is more than 50 percent carbon free. Coal-fired generation makes up less than 5 percent of our portfolio, compared with the national average of 13 percent.
More than half of our power comes from emissions-free nuclear generation, an extremely reliable, safe and affordable source of electricity. Our early investment in nuclear energy has allowed electric cooperative members and communities to benefit from the lowest carbon electricity in the Southeast. In addition, we are increasingly integrating renewables into our already diverse array of power sources as new technology, such as battery storage, makes renewable energy a more accessible option.
Looking to the decade ahead and beyond, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives remain focused on providing electricity that is reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible. To achieve this low-cost, low-carbon future, we are working toward two significant carbon reduction goals:
To meet these goals while maintaining reliability and affordability, we will continue to prioritize emissions-free nuclear as a key part of our energy future. Natural gas generation, which can be dispatched quickly when needed, will also continue to serve as a critical complement to our other power sources.
North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are also testing and evaluating new energy solutions and innovative technology that will help make our sustainability goals a reality. Electric co-ops are able to leverage thousands of resources across the state — including community solar, microgrids, electric vehicle chargers, and even smart thermostats and water heaters — to dispatch generation when it is needed and trim electricity use during times of peak demand.
This edge-of-grid coordination, which we are able to achieve through ongoing engagement with our consumer-members, is what truly sets electric cooperatives apart from other utilities. Because we are based in and belong to the local communities we serve, we have strong relationships with our members and can work with them as we shape the future of the electric grid and make power more affordable, reliable and sustainable for everyone.
In addition, efforts to use electricity in new and beneficial ways to make devices and processes cleaner, smarter and cheaper–from electric vehicles to agricultural electrification–will help us further cut carbon emissions and reach our long-term carbon reduction goals.
Our Energy Mix
As the power supplier for 25 of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives, we maintain a diverse power portfolio that currently breaks down as follows:
We acquire the power we sell to our member cooperatives in a number of ways, including:
- Ownership of a 61.51 percent share of the Catawba Nuclear Station’s Unit 1 in York County, S.C.
- Ownership of a 13.33 percent share of the 750-megawatt combined-cycle natural gas plant at W.S. Lee Station in Anderson County, S.C. that began service in April 2018
- Ownership and operation of natural gas peak generating plants located in Anson and Richmond counties. These plants provide a combined capacity of 672 megawatts.
- Ownership and operation of peaking generators on the Outer Banks at Buxton (15 megawatts) and Ocracoke (3 megawatts)
- Purchases from wholesale markets, primarily PJM, and wholesale suppliers such as Duke Energy, American Electric Power (AEP), Southern Power, BP Energy Company, Shell and Morgan Stanley
Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)
We also work with electric cooperatives to meet Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) regulatory and compliance milestones. We are currently looking for North Carolina based swine and poultry waste renewable energy certificates (RECs). To discuss the sale of RECs from your renewable energy facility, please contact us at REPS@ncemcs.com. For owners of smaller facilities, those generally under two megawatts, please see our registration guide for more information on registering your facility.