Lynn J. Good
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer at Duke Energy
Jack, thank you, and good morning, everyone. It's great to be with you for our second quarter 2021 earnings call. Today, we announced strong results for the quarter, with adjusted earnings per share of $1.15. These results, driven in part by economic recovery, also demonstrate the continued strength of our clean energy strategy. We are leading the transition to cleaner energy by adding significant amounts of renewables to our portfolio, hardening the grid through investments in our transmission and distribution assets and collaborating with stakeholders and policymakers to advance supportive energy policy. We have positive momentum going into the second half of the year and are reaffirming our 2021 adjusted EPS guidance range of $5 to $5.30. We're also reaffirming our long-term EPS growth rate of 5% to 7% through 2025, based off of $5.15 midpoint for 2021. And we remain fully committed to creating value for shareholders by recently increasing our quarterly cash dividend for the 15th consecutive year. Looking ahead, we have a number of strategic milestones that we're working towards the, we're working toward in the second half of the year. We anticipate the closing of the minority sale of Duke Energy Indiana to GIC announced earlier this year at an attractive premium to our public equity valuation. This transaction satisfies our equity needs for the next five years. We received CFIUS approval in June. FERC approval is the only remaining closing requirement, and we anticipate receiving approval at any time during the third quarter. We continue engaging with stakeholders on important work in the Carolinas on our 2020 IRPs and energy legislation and in Indiana on our 2021 IRP. I will speak further about those in just a moment. And operationally, we have four remaining months of hurricane season, and our team is ready to respond on behalf of our customers. In July, Elsa was our first official storm of the 2021 season.
While we had minimal impact in our Florida and Carolinas service territories, we were prepared and restored power quickly to our customers. I'm very proud of our accomplishments to date and we're poised for a strong finish to 2021. Turning to slide five. We continue to advance our clean energy transformation powered by our five year $59 billion growth capital plan. These investments are delivering value for our customers and communities and driving strong growth for our investors. I want to highlight a couple of recent accomplishments. Renewables are playing a major role in our path to net zero. We continue construction on approximately 250 megawatts of new solar projects in North Carolina and Florida that we expect to bring online by the end of this year. And in recent weeks, we commissioned the 144 megawatt Pflugerville solar and 182 megawatt Maryneal wind projects in Texas. With the completion of these two projects, we hit a significant milestone, surpassing 10,000 megawatts of solar and wind resources. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees and strong support we receive from the communities where we operate. In addition to carbon reduction and the benefits of creating a diverse energy infrastructure, solar and wind investments foster economic development, tax revenue and job creation in the areas we serve.
This milestone reflects our leadership in clean energy, and we are on track to pass 16,000 megawatts of renewables by 2025 and approximately 24,000 megawatts by 2030. By 2050, renewables will represent 40% or more of our energy mix. Nuclear is also a foundational component of our strategy, providing the largest source of reliable carbon-free energy we have in our system. In June, we submitted our application to renew Oconee Nuclear Station's operating licenses for an additional 20 years, which was accepted by the NRC for review. This is our first subsequent license renewal application among our six nuclear sites in the Carolinas, and the review process will move forward over the next 18 months. Oconee is our largest nuclear station, with three generating units that produce more than 2,500 megawatts of carbon free base flow generation, enough to power more than 1.9 million homes. Our nuclear fleet provided 83% of the company's carbon free generation in 2020 and avoided the release of nearly 50 million tons of carbon dioxide. We'll pursue similar extensions for each of our remaining reactors as they approach the end of their respective licensing periods. Our ambitious climate strategy also puts us in a strong position to help other sectors, such as transportation, meet their emission reduction goals.
We continue to build out electric vehicle infrastructure in our service territories and one of our subsidiaries, eTrans Energy, was recently named a preferred provider by GM to help its fleet customers transition to electric vehicles. Electrifying vehicles is a win-win approach to reducing carbon emissions from both the electric and the transportation sectors. Turning to slide six. We're actively engaging policymakers and stakeholders across our jurisdictions and at the federal level. In North Carolina, the House of Representatives recently passed House Bill 951. This legislation directs an orderly clean energy transition for North Carolina, including mandates to retire 12 coal units at five locations and replace them with cleaner forms of generation, renewed solar programs and modern ratemaking tools to better align clean energy investments with customer needs. We support House Bill 951 and will continue to monitor its progress through the legislative process. North Carolina has a long history of constructive energy policy that was developed by finding common ground, which has helped position the state as a leader in clean energy and in economic development. Advancing this clean energy transition continues to be a priority for the state and its leaders. We also continue to work with the commissions in both North and South Carolina to advance our integrated resource plans. Regulators have been complementary of the extensive stakeholder feedback process and comprehensive data incorporated into the IRPs. In South Carolina, we received an order from the commission requesting additional analysis and modeling, which will be filed later this month.
And in North Carolina, the commission plans to hold additional proceedings and will be providing guidance on next steps. This is the first time we've presented multiple generation scenarios in the IRPs, and we welcome the opportunity to provide our regulators with more input. In Florida, we received the final order from the commission in June, approving the new multiyear rate plan settlement. The significant agreement includes the continued expansion of utility scale solar, energy storage, new electric vehicle charging station programs and provides rate certainty to benefit customers. Among other things, our investments include 10 new solar power plants across the state that will deliver 750 megawatts of cost-effective renewable energy to customers. This multi-year rate plan is an addition to our Storm Protection Plan, which entails $6.2 billion in grid investments through 2029 to harden and strengthen the grid, protecting it against significant weather events and improving reliability for customers. In Indiana, the commission approves Step two from our 2019 rate case, which updates rate base through year end 2020 and trues up carrying costs back to January 1, 2021. As we prepare to submit our Indiana IRP in November, we continue to engage business customers, consumer advocates and environmental groups to solicit input on transitioning to cleaner generation sources while keeping a sharp focus on reliability and affordability for customers.
We took an important step in our last rate case by reducing the depreciable lives for our coal capacity and look to the IRP to continue this progress. We'll collaborate with stakeholders and policymakers to find the best path forward for the state's clean energy transition. Shifting to the LDCs. We've filed rate cases in two jurisdictions this year. Across our gas segment, we've worked to keep O&M costs relatively flat during a period of strong customer growth and capital additions. Our Piedmont Natural Gas rate request continues to move through the regulatory process in North Carolina. This request includes construction costs related to our new natural gas storage facility in Robeson County. A hearing is scheduled for September. And if approved, rates would be effective by year end.
In Kentucky, we've made strategic investments to improve the reliability and integrity of our natural gas delivery system and filed a request with the Public Service Commission to recover those costs. We've invested nearly $190 million in a variety of capital projects across Northern Kentucky since we last sought a natural gas base rate increase in 2018. We will present our case to the commission in October. And finally, let me comment on the work in D.C. We're engaged with Congress and the administration on a wide range of issues, including infrastructure, tax and climate policy. The bipartisan infrastructure framework is the subject of much discussion and could serve as a powerful catalyst to modernize our nation's infrastructure. It includes funding for large scale expansion of charging infrastructure to prepare for and further drive adoption of electric vehicles. And as charging infrastructure grows, so will the need for grid investments. Innovation will also be a critical part of the journey to net zero because with our existing technologies, we can make important progress, but cannot close the gap. We're pleased to see the framework includes funding to accelerate the development of next-generation clean energy technologies such as hydrogen, carbon capture and advanced nuclear. Robust and sustained government support is vital to ensure the commercialization of these advanced technologies. It's critical for us to tackle this issue today so the technologies are scalable when we need them. In closing, our continued growth and strong second quarter results were driven by solid execution across all our jurisdictions as we lead the largest clean energy transition in our industry. I'm confident we will continue to build on this momentum to deliver sustainable value and grow earnings 5% to 7% over the next five years. With that, let me turn it over to Steve.