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Wilmington will comment on Duke's carbon plan in letter

The Inflation Reduction Act includes tax credits for residential solar and battery storage systems, along with other measures aimed at encouraging individuals to cut their carbon emissions.
Craig Ruttle
The letter will urge Duke to pursue renewable energy sources.

Wilmington city council voted Tuesday not to join other local North Carolina governments in signing a public letter commenting on Duke Energy’s carbon plan. Instead, the council will send one of their own.

The original letter was presented to the council in August as a joint comment with other cities on Duke Energy’s proposal to meet the carbon reduction goals of House Bill 951.

Related: Local governments are pointing out issues with Duke Energy’s carbon plan; Wilmington may join them

That law requires the state to reduce carbon emissions from electricity by 70% by 2030, and to reach net zero by 2050. It’s the job of the North Carolina Utilities Commission to come up with a plan on how to make this happen by the end of December, and they asked Duke Energy to submit a proposal.

The joint comment letter highlights some issues with Duke’s proposal and emphasizes programs that encourage consumers to self-regulate their energy usage.

The letter was re-presented Tuesday as a separate submission from the City of Wilmington, but remained largely the same, said David Ingram, the city sustainability program manager.

“The points that we highlight are still urging Duke Energy to pursue renewable energy,” said Ingram.

Councilmembers Neil Anderson and Luke Waddell expressed concern over affordability, disagreeing with the endorsement of Duke Energy’s first proposed scenario to meet the state goal of reducing carbon emissions by 70% by 2030. That was predicted by Duke to be more expensive.

The council voted to give Mayor Bill Saffo the authority to amend that letter before it’s sent to the North Carolina Utilities Commission for consideration.

Grace Vitaglione is a multimedia journalist, recently graduated from American University. I’m attracted to issues of inequity and my reporting has spanned racial disparities in healthcare, immigration detention and college culture. In the past, I’ve investigated ICE detainee deaths at the Investigative Reporting Workshop, worked on an award-winning investigative podcast and produced student-led video stories.