Last week, as the arctic air of the “polar vortex” made its way across the country, temperatures reached record lows and energy demand reached record highs. Thanks to its diverse energy mix of coal, gas, nuclear and renewables, Duke Energy was prepared to meet its customers’ increased energy needs across the six states it serves.
As a safe, reliable and cost-effective option, nuclear plays a key role in meeting Duke Energy’s energy needs – regardless of the weather condition. Since nuclear power plants are designed to withstand extreme conditions, like severe temperatures, Duke Energy’s nuclear fleet was able to operate as expected, providing generating stability during this icy event.
Duke Energy’s 10.5 GW regulated nuclear generation fleet, which includes 11 units at six sites in the Carolinas, helped meet Duke Energy Carolinas’ new winter usage peak of 20,246 megawatt-hours set Tuesday, Jan. 7 in the hour ending at 8 a.m. This exceeded the previous winter record of 18,985 megawatt-hours set on Dec. 15, 2010.
To read more on how nuclear power plants withstood the widespread chill, please refer to the following articles:
- Nuclear Energy Facilities Keep Pace with Arctic Chill (NEI)
- Polar Vortex Proves Nuclear Power Could Be A Reliable Energy Source (International Business Times)
- Polar Vortex – Nuclear Saves The Day (Forbes)
- Nuclear Plants Show True Value Under Extreme Weather Conditions (Smart Energy Universe)
- “U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Weather the “Polar Vortex” (NRC Blog)