Harnessing the wind and sun to make renewable power seems simple, but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes.
About 30 employees work 12-hour shifts at Duke Energy’s Renewable Control Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, to monitor and control wind turbines, solar panels and batteries in 22 states. The operators remotely start or stop equipment, alert field technicians to bad weather or malfunctions, forecast generation, help meet reliability and compliance standards, and supervise renewable output for Duke Energy and other companies.
As renewable energy grows rapidly across the country, their work will be even more important. Duke Energy has a goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Adding more solar, wind and batteries is part of that. Duke Energy’s solar investments in Florida and North Carolina have helped those states rank among the nation’s solar power leaders. It also operates 21 wind projects with its newest in Texas to be complete this year. By 2025, the company expects to contract, own or operate 16 GW – double its current renewable portfolio.