N.C. Electric Cooperatives Join Research Initiative to Advance Low-Carbon Energy Technologies

North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives have joined the Low-Carbon Resources Initiative, an international collaborative working to advance economy-wide decarbonization efforts. Jointly led by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Gas Technology Institute, the Initiative brings together industry stakeholders to address the need to accelerate the development and demonstration of new low- and zero-carbon technologies that will be necessary to reach net-zero carbon emissions.

“Electric cooperatives in North Carolina are building a brighter future for our state and 2.5 million consumer-members through innovation, community support and a goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Amadou Fall, chief operating officer for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “Because cooperatives belong to those they serve, we are focused on leading innovation and evolving our services to benefit our local members, while also preserving the reliability and affordability of electricity.”

The Low-Carbon Resources Initiative targets advancements in low-carbon electric generation technologies and low-carbon energy carriers, such as hydrogen, ammonia, synthetic fuels, and biofuels. The worldwide collaborative will:

  • Identify and accelerate fundamental development of promising technologies, focusing on those that can be deployed beyond 2030 to support achievement of a net-zero emissions economy by 2050
  • Demonstrate and assess the performance of key technologies and processes
  • Inform key stakeholders and the public about technology options and potential pathways to a low-carbon future

Neva Espinoza, EPRI vice president of energy supply and low-carbon resources, said the work of the Initiative will shape the future of energy, as the technologies that will be required to meet aggressive sustainability goals are not yet available at the scale or cost that will be needed.

“Global challenges to reducing carbon emissions require global solutions, and that strikes at the heart of why the Low-Carbon Resources Initiative was founded,” Espinoza said. “Working together with our 50-plus members, the Initiative is leading the charge by driving innovation that is key to a clean energy future. North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives brings yet another important perspective to the Initiative.”

In North Carolina, electric cooperatives are leading innovation that benefits members, including 5 microgrids, 10 substation battery installations, 14 solar + storage projects, a statewide electric vehicle charging network, and thousands of smart thermostats and water heater controls through the Connect to Save program. As a Distribution Operator – a single entity that monitors and coordinates energy resources across the grid – North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are collectively managing these resources for enhanced service to members through improved grid resilience and reliability while also facilitating greater coordination with transmission operators.

“We’re proud to support this Initiative and the development of the critical new technologies that we must have to transform our energy economy and chart the path toward a brighter future,” Fall said.

Learn more about North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives’ Brighter Future vision at NCElectricCooperatives.com/Brighter. Learn more about the Low-Carbon Resources Initiative at LowCarbonLCRI.com.