Duke Energy submits six-year plan with Indiana state utility regulators

Duke Energy Indiana files plan to improve reliability and resilience of  its statewide electric grid with innovative technology 

Six-year plan would add additional smart technology to reduce number,  duration of power outages 

Plan expected to support 1,270 Indiana jobs, boost economic development PLAINFIELD, Ind. – Duke Energy Indiana filed a plan Tuesday with Indiana state utility  regulators to improve the reliability and resilience of its statewide network of power lines  and infrastructure that deliver electricity to more than 860,000 Hoosier homes,  businesses and industries. 

The six-year plan uses a combination of advanced technology and infrastructure  upgrades to improve service to customers. 

“We’re creating a smarter electric grid that helps prevent outages and gets the lights  back on sooner when problems do occur,” said Duke Energy Indiana President Stan  Pinegar. “Our reliability ratings are good, but we need to prepare the electric grid for what’s to come, including electric vehicles and more customers generating their own  

green energy. As an electric service provider, the reliability of our service is job No. 1 for our 2,500 Indiana employees.” 

Some of the plan’s key benefits include: 

Fewer and shorter power outages through smart-thinking technology. Not  all power outages can be prevented, but smarter technologies make the electric  grid more resilient and better able to recover when power outages do occur.

Duke Energy Corporation | P.O. Box 1009 | Charlotte, NC 28201-1009 | www.duke-energy.com 

Outages can be automatically detected and isolated so that fewer customers are  affected. Power can then be rerouted to other lines and service restored in a  matter of minutes for many customers. Currently 11% of Duke Energy’s Indiana  customers are supplied from a circuit with automation. After the completion of the  proposed plan, an estimated 65% of customers will be served by automated  circuits. 

Hardening the electric grid to better withstand the effects of weather. One  of the biggest causes of power outages is severe weather. Grid strengthening  measures include work such as upgrading wood poles to steel ones, modernizing substations and some targeted undergrounding of outage-prone power lines.  

Preparing the electric grid for customer-owned renewable energy, such as  solar panels on homes. Utilities are seeing more environmentally conscious  customers generating renewable energy for their use and selling their excess  power to the utility. Today’s electric grid, though, is built for one-way power flow  from power plants to power lines that supply customers. A smart-thinking electric  grid can detect, react, and adapt to changes in power usage and can better  accommodate power generated by customers and support greener power  options.  

New jobs and investment in Indiana by developing electric infrastructure at  high-potential, key economic development sites so that it can attract new  businesses and help communities thrive and grow. Industries looking to locate or  expand in Indiana are attracted to sites that are ready to serve them, all of which  brings investment and jobs to the state.  

“As with most products on the market, the technology available today is simply better  than the technology that was available decades ago,” Pinegar said. “Adding more 

automation to our system gives us better visibility on our electric grid to detect problems  and resolve them quicker.” 

While there will always be storms, vehicle accidents, and other causes of power  outages, the proposed investments are designed to improve reliability of service. Duke  Energy is estimating the grid improvements will reduce the number of power outages by  at least 17% and the length of outages by at least 19%.  

The plan builds on grid modernization that has been underway in Indiana for several years. In 2016 Duke Energy received approval for a plan to reduce the risk of power  outages on its system through measures such as replacing aging infrastructure. Some  examples of grid improvement work statewide under the first plan: 

• Upgraded, replaced, or repaired more than 31,000 poles 

• Rebuilt or improved more than 1,000 miles of overhead power lines and replaced  or restored more than 670 miles of underground cable 

• Improved more than 420 substations, which convert voltage for delivery to  customers in communities statewide 

• Installed 37 self-healing networks on the electric grid that in 2021 helped avoid  more than 31,000 customer power outages and 2.8 million customer minutes of  interrupted service.  

If the plan is approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, Duke Energy would submit semi-annual filings over six years to the commission to review progress and requests to recover the costs of investments made. Any customer rate impact  would have to be approved by state regulators and would be gradual as work is  completed. Duke Energy estimates its grid improvement strategy, if approved, would increase rates an average of about 1% per year between 2024 and 2029. 

Grid improvement can also be a job-generator. Duke Energy estimates the  modernization work will generate or support 1,270 Indiana jobs. The work also is  estimated to generate an additional $4.3 million in state and local tax revenue annually.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission will set a schedule for hearings in the case.  A decision is expected by July 2022. 

Duke Energy  

Duke Energy Indiana, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, provides about 6,300 megawatts of  owned electric capacity to approximately 860,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile  service area, making it Indiana’s largest electric supplier.  

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C.,  is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 7.9  million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and  Kentucky, and collectively own 51,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas  unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio  and Kentucky. The company employs 27,500 people. 

Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter  energy future for its customers and communities – with goals of at least a 50% carbon  reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is a top U.S.  renewable energy provider, on track to own or purchase 16,000 megawatts of  renewable energy capacity by 2025. The company also is investing in major electric grid  upgrades and expanded battery storage and exploring zero-emitting power generation  technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear. 

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2021 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and  Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at duke energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets,  photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people,  innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on  Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

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