Building a Brighter Future
At Union Power Cooperative, we are committed to delivering power that is affordable, reliable, and low carbon. More than half of our power comes from emissions-free nuclear, and we are increasingly incorporating renewable energy sources and grid-optimizing technologies to take this commitment even further. As a co-op member, you can help amplify the benefits of electricity by using it as a cleaner, cheaper, and smarter alternative to fossil fuels. Appliances, equipment, agricultural and industrial processes, and even your car, can now be powered by electricity, resulting in cost savings, lower emissions, and increased productivity and efficiency.
Looking to the decade ahead and beyond, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives, the power supply cooperative for 25 of the state’s electric distribution cooperatives, remains focused on providing electricity that is reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible. To achieve this low-cost, low-carbon future, we are working toward two significant carbon reduction goals:
To meet these goals while maintaining reliability and affordability, we will continue to prioritize emissions-free nuclear as a key part of our energy future. Natural gas generation, which can be dispatched quickly when needed, will also continue to serve as a critical complement to our other power sources.
North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are also testing and evaluating new energy solutions and innovative technology that will help make our sustainability goals a reality. Electric co-ops are able to leverage thousands of resources across the state — including community solar, microgrids, electric vehicle chargers, and even smart thermostats and water heaters — to dispatch generation when it is needed and trim electricity use during times of peak demand.
This edge-of-grid coordination, which we are able to achieve through ongoing engagement with our consumer-members, is what truly sets electric cooperatives apart from other utilities. Because we are based in and belong to the local communities we serve, we have strong relationships with our members and can work with them as we shape the future of the electric grid and make power more affordable, reliable and sustainable for everyone.
In addition, efforts to use electricity in new and beneficial ways to make devices and processes cleaner, smarter and cheaper–from electric vehicles to agricultural electrification–will help us further cut carbon emissions and reach our long-term carbon reduction goals.
Our Energy Mix
North Carolina’s electric cooperatives maintains a diverse power portfolio that currently breaks down as follows:
We acquire the power we sell to our member cooperatives in a number of ways, including:
- Ownership of a 61.51 percent share of the Catawba Nuclear Station’s Unit 1 in York County, S.C.
- Ownership of a 13.33 percent share of the 750-megawatt combined-cycle natural gas plant at W.S. Lee Station in Anderson County, S.C. that began service in April 2018
- Ownership and operation of natural gas peak generating plants located in Anson and Richmond counties. These plants provide a combined capacity of 672 megawatts.
- Ownership and operation of peaking generators on the Outer Banks at Buxton (15 megawatts) and Ocracoke (3 megawatts)
- Purchases from wholesale markets, primarily PJM, and wholesale suppliers such as Duke Energy, American Electric Power (AEP), Southern Power, BP Energy Company, Shell and Morgan Stanley