Skip to main content

Columbia Business Monthly

The Business Narrative: Supporting the Carolinas' Growing Electricity Demand

May 01, 2024 10:00AM ● By Donna Walker

Duke Energy Completes Multiyear Unit Upgrades at Bad Creek

Duke Energy recently completed upgrades to the four units at the Bad Creek pumped storage facility in Salem, S.C.


Duke Energy officials said the upgrades add a total of 320 megawatts of carbon-free energy to the company's system and brings the total capacity of the station to 1,680 megawatts.


Bad Creek pumped storage technology supports the operational needs of Duke Energy's system, particularly as more solar is added, and the station can now power more than 1.3 million homes, the officials said. 


A flexible, dynamic, efficient and green way to store and deliver large quantities of energy, pumped storage hydro plants store and generate energy by moving water between two reservoirs at different elevations. 


Coming online in 1991, Bad Creek is designed to produce significant amounts of energy when customers need it most, performing a vital role as the largest "battery" on the company's system, Duke Energy officials said.


"This investment in Bad Creek demonstrates our commitment to improving reliability across the Carolinas. Pumped storage technology gives us operational flexibility, allowing us to store energy and then deploy that energy when customer demand is highest," said Preston Gillespie, executive vice president and chief generation officer and enterprise operational excellence.


Gillespie added, "Expanding our energy storage capabilities is just one of the many steps we are taking in the next phase of our energy transition."


The units were upgraded in phases, adding 80 MW of capacity to each new pump turbine. Unit 2 was completed in 2020, unit 1 was completed in 2021, unit three was completed in 2023 and unit 4 was completed in April.


Duke Energy is working to extend the license of the Bad Creek pumped hydro storage facility, which is set to expire in 2027. 


In addition to the upgrade project, Duke Energy is evaluating the potential to add a second powerhouse at Bad Creek that would further help Duke Energy add capacity to the system as well as address increasing system variability, from the growth of solar and customer usage, in a reliable and affordable way.


"From population growth to the expansion of manufacturing and other major economic development wins, the Carolinas are booming," said Mike Callahan, Duke Energy's South Carolina president.


Callahan added, "We must have a diverse energy mix to account for this growth on the coldest winter nights and the warmest summer days. We continue to look at solutions like expanding Bad Creek to make sure the power is there when customers need it, and it is as affordable as possible – providing certainty as they go about their daily lives."


Duke Energy officials said expanding operations at Bad Creek also provides significant economic benefits of $7.3 billion to South Carolina, as the state benefits from construction and general infrastructure activity, by 2033.


Duke Energy Carolinas, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns 20,700 megawatts of energy capacity, supplying electricity to 2.9 million residential, commercial and industrial customers across a 24,000-square-mile service area in North Carolina and South Carolina.

energyRe Receives Inaugural Project Financing, Tax Equity Transaction For Lone Star Solar Project

energyRe said it has secured $155 million in project financing and a $85 million tax equity commitment for its 108 MWdc Lone Star Solar project and 198MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), one of the largest battery systems in South Carolina. 


The $155 million in project financing for Lone Star Solar includes construction debt, tax equity bridge facility and letter of credit facility with Santander acting as the Coordinating Lead Arranger.


Bank of America has committed $85 million in tax equity. The project qualifies for Investment Tax Credits (ITCs) under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).


Officials said the transaction, led by the energyRe M&A and Investments teams, showcases energyRe's industry knowledge, financial acumen, and expertise in securing compelling financing solutions for its pipeline of renewable energy projects.


"Lone Star Solar reflects energyRe's commitment to accelerating the U.S. energy transition with reliable, clean power," said Miguel Prado, CEO of energyRe"We are grateful to our financial partners for supporting Lone Star Solar, which will be one of the largest solar and storage facilities in the Southeastern United States."


"We are delighted to support energyRe in their first U.S. tax equity transaction," said Todd Karas, head of Renewable Energy Finance at Bank of America. "We recognize the Lone Star project as a milestone in energyRe's growth and a noteworthy development for the state of South Carolina."


In January 2023, energyRe announced a 10-year power purchase agreement with Dominion Energy South Carolina (DESC) for Lone Star Solar.


Upon completion, Lone Star Solar will be one of the largest solar and storage facilities in the Southeastern United States and will have the largest battery on the DESC network.


Over the life of the project, Lone Star Solar will generate more than $10 million in local property taxes and create approximately 185 jobs during construction.


Syensqo, formerly part of the Solvay Group, will purchase 100 percent of the renewable energy certificates (RECs) generated by Lone Star Solar.


Officials said the clean power generated by Lone Star Solar will help Syensqo reduce carbon emissions for approximately 35 percent of its U.S. electricity purchases and decrease greenhouse gas emissions of its operations by 73,000 metric tons annually.


energyRe has more than 700 MW of contracted solar projects in South Carolina and a regional development pipeline of more than 7 GWs.


energyRe is a leading independent energy company focused on solving complex sustainability challenges and providing clean energy solutions in utility-scale transmission, onshore wind and solar, offshore wind, energy storage and distributed generation. 


In 2022, energyRe acquired Southern Current, a South Carolina-based developer of solar and energy storage assets.

BridgeWay Station Celebrates Opening in Mauldin, SC

By John C. Stevenson


Hundreds of people flocked to Mauldin Saturday, April 27, to help kick off the official opening of BridgeWay Station, a mixed-use community that developer Phil Hughes predicted will become a thriving destination for Upstate residents.


BridgeWay Station comprises retail shops, apartments, restaurants, green spaces, free parking, and more, all nestled in a newly constructed village that reflects the vibe of old Europe, but with easy access to nearby Interstate 385.


“This is the real beginning of what we hope will be a surely unique, surely beautiful, and wonderfully attractive new town center,” said Hughes, founder and president of Greenville-based developer Hughes Investments Inc., shortly before a ribbon-cutting ceremony.


Hughes, whose company and family have long histories of developing projects in the Upstate, said BridgeWay Station showcases much of what his company has learned through its decades of work in downtown Greenville.


“We learned that people love walkability, they love the food and beverage (businesses), they love the wonderful shops, they love a vibrant, active community,” he said. “We’re trying to give them all that, and in addition, have it closer to their homes, closer to more people, with easier access without congestion, and free parking."


“So, it’s trying to bridge two worlds and bring them together; hence, one of the reasons we picked the name ‘BridgeWay,’” he added.

Small Businesses: Find Tax Resources, Tools on

During National Small Business Week, the IRS reminds taxpayers that has resources and tools to help small businesses understand and meet their tax responsibilities.


Bookmark these webpages

Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center: Resources for small businesses with assets under $10 million and for taxpayers who file these forms:

Form 1040 or 1040-SR

Schedules C, E and F

Form 2106.


Employer Identification Number: Businesses can apply for an EIN in several ways including online at Generally, businesses need an Employer Identification Number, also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number. The IRS uses this number to identify a business entity.


Gig Economy Tax Center: Resources for gig workers, people who operate a digital platform marketplace and the businesses that manage their taxes. The gig economy – also called the sharing economy and access economy – is activity where people earn income providing on-demand work, services or goods, often with an app or website.


Tax information for businesses: Tax information, tools and resources for businesses and self-employed people.


Track payments

Electronic Federal Tax Payment System: A free tax payment systems for businesses to pay their federal taxes online. Businesses can also pay by phone.


Stay in the know about business taxes

Form 1099-K rules free webinar: Important info for tax professionals and for anyone who receives a Form 1099-K, including people who use popular payment apps and online marketplaces. The webinar may also be helpful to taxpayers who receive Form 1099-K from non-business transactions such as the sale of personal items.


e-News subscriptions: Email newsletters on a variety of tax topics. There are e-newsletters for small businesses, payroll professionals, tax professionals, IRS partners and more.

Allow us to tell your company's Business Narrative. Send your press release to David Dykes or for more information email [email protected]