“I do think we’re in a position where we don’t foresee the need for new coal-fired generation in the Carolinas anytime in the foreseeable future. It’s probably premature to say we will never build a coal plant in the Carolinas again, but today we do not foresee the need to do that based on the inputs we see and based on planning in front of us.”

Jim Turner, president of Duke Energy

Duke is set to build a coal plant in N.C., with the blessing of the Sierra Club, thanks to this:

In a unique measure, the permit issued for the project will require the utility to mitigate the new plant’s carbon dioxide emissions by 2018.

Duke said it plans to achieve this goal through the previously planned retirement of four older units at Cliffside, combined with the retirement of 800-megawatts of older, less efficient coal-burning units throughout North Carolina and energy efficiency measures, carbon-free tariffs, carbon offsets and carbon-free power generation, including nuclear power.

Other enviros still plan to sue to block the plant.