Why do we need two Cliffside Coal Fired Plants for Duke Energy?

So this Wednesday morning the NC Utilities Commission is holding a public hearing in Raleigh about the request by Duke Energy to add two more coal fired plants near Charlotte.

Many environmentalists as well as consumers are opposed to these two new plants.

Why would we support this? Do we need more air pollution in Charlotte? Do we not understand that coal burning is connected to global warming? Has Duke Energy considered working on alternative clean fuels? There is a study that shows that conservation alone could save as much and more energy than these two plants will produce.

When the costs estimates went up from two to three billion dollars, Duke Energy was forced to reconsider the proposal. The effect of these plants on what each of us will pay for electricity will not be pretty. The hearings in Shelby and Charlotte were well attended by consumers. This might be something we can stop if folks can get there to the hearings or write to the NC Utilities Commmission asking them not to approve something that will raise our rates, add poisonous gases to the air, and lead to flooding and catastrophic weather changes.


The NC Utilities Commission

should say no to this request for new coal-fired plants. The utilities should be forced to meet a minimum standard (20%?) of producing energy from alternative sources (solar, wind, etc.). The utilities should also be actively working to reduce demand through conservation programs with both commercial and residential customers.

Before they spend $3 billion on 2 new coal-fired plants, plus untold billions more on new nuclear plants, we should see:
-An army of energy-efficiency experts visiting every home and business in North Carolina to provide compact-flourescent bulbs and free energy-efficiency audits.
-Solar panels on every roof and atop every streetlight.
-Windmills in areas that are appropriate (areas with consistent windflow that are not also migratory routes for birds).

Solar and Wind Are Great

for recharging an iPod. Think August around most of NC. We've had our share of overcast days with no wind and 90+ degrees - do you really want "alternative" energy then to run your A/C compressor? Should hospitals and other vital facilties have to schedule operations around the weather?

For A/C, keeping power flowing to businesses, and all of the other things that keep us from being a third-world nation (AKA Base Load) you can generate power using combustion turbines, steam plants, and even steam plants that reclaim heat from combustion turbines. Steam plant sources can vary from coal, gas, nuclear, rubbish, bio-fuels, etc.

For all practical purposes, until energy storage technology improves or we have a better net-metering scheme, solar and wind are going to have a tough time in NC.

If it's any consolation, Plug-In HEVs are coming to market shortly and power generated from Rankine and Brayton Cycle (Steam Plants and Combustion Turbines) are more thermally efficient than Otto (Gasoline) and Diesel cycle. So, a car running off of electricity from a state-of-the-art coal plant would probably have less of an impact on the enviroment than current Otto-cycle-based models. Of course, it would be even less if a non-emitting electricity source like Solar, Wind, or Nuclear were used.


I believe that solar has great potential in NC for "peak shaving". When demand is high during periods of high use of air-conditioning, solar generation is optimized. Being intermittent, solar has trouble meeting needs all the time but using it for "load shaving" also reduces the need for new plants for base capacity.

I grew up without AC here in Charlotte

not so bad, really Justin.(OK...it stunk) It won't kill folks who take a few precautions. As it is, most days in August you can barely breathe in Charlotte. I'm researching the impact on air quality before I make a final decision about how a really feel, but I'm leaning toward a no on this.

I still have questions for you about a Cabarrus/Meck issue, but I just haven't had time to get to your site. I will soon. I'm just curious about something.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Site/E-mail Change

I haven't put the link to my new e-mail up on my new site. Try justin at cabarruscheapseats.com

Thanks Justin

I'll try to put my thoughts together on my question so you know what I'm asking.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.