Business View Magazine | April 2019

108 and smarter energy future through community engagement and collaboration that is mutually beneficial to the community, customers, and Duke Energy Progress,” says Weaver. “The EITF’s commitment to transition the County to a clean energy future has created a path for the County and City to partner and examine what it would take to transition the County and City to renewable energy, and help guide the work of the EITF as it promotes policies and pro- grams to encourage a clean energy future.” Weaver reports that, initially, Duke Energy Progress and Asheville residents were not on the same page. Even though the utility is retiring a coal-burning plant, it planned to replace it with one that burns natural gas. “The feedback received from the Asheville com- munity was that the utility’s plan still burns fossil fuels, and more renewables should be encouraged,” she explains. “In addition to the natural gas plant, the utility also wanted to build an additional peaker plant, and our com- munity said, ‘Absolutely not. We would rather you spend that money on renewables and programs that help homeowners and business owners reduce their energy usage though en- ergy efficiency and other programs offered by the utility.’” Negotiations between the County, City, and Duke Energy Progress resulted in the ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA