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Duke Energy to invest $3bn for grid modernization in South Carolina

EBR Staff Writer Published 06 November 2017

American electric utility Duke Energy will invest $3bn to strengthen the energy grid in South Carolina as part of a 10-year modernization plan.

Under a program named as Power/Forward Carolinas, the utility will carry out upgrades to its existing electricity system in the state.

The upgrades are expected to make the system withstand storms and outages, become more resilient to cyber attacks and physical threats besides helping in the expansion of renewable energy.

Duke Energy estimates an average of around 3,300 jobs supported per year through the grid modernization project which will see the investment spread over for the next 10 years.

The utility says that the project will also give 740,000 customers in the Palmetto State more details to manage their energy consumption.

Duke Energy South Carolina president Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe said: “Safely powering the lives of hard-working families and maintaining the vitality of our communities are our most important responsibilities.

“Investing in smarter, efficient energy infrastructure is more than just good business – it's an investment in our state that helps to attract jobs and industry and makes our economy and our communities stronger.”

The grid modernization project is expected to create $315m in the form of new salaries and wages per annum throughout the peak years of construction.

South Carolina is expected to get over $116m in new tax revenue while the total economic output over the next decade is estimated to be more than $5bn.

South Carolina Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said: “In South Carolina, we work together to ensure that our businesses have the resources needed to succeed, and access to safe, affordable energy is certainly one of those key resources.

“For decades, Duke Energy has been critical in this effort; and this new initiative will only strengthen our state's reputation as an ideal location for business.”

In late October, Duke Energy announced its plans to have solar, energy storage projects in Indiana state.

As part of it, Duke Energy will install battery storage equipment and solar panels that will function as a microgrid at the Indiana National Guard's Camp Atterbury training operation in Johnson County.

The utility will also install battery storage equipment at a substation in Clark County at Nabb.

Image: Duke Energy plans to strengthen South Carolina's energy grid with $3bn investment. Photo: courtesy of Duke Energy Corporation.