Statesville, N.C., November 11, 2010 — Solar energy is now helping power homes and businesses served by electric cooperative EnergyUnited, thanks to a new photovoltaic solar farm in Taylorsville, N.C., that Duke Energy Generation Services recently acquired from SunEdison.
EnergyUnited, which serves residents of Alexander County and 19 other counties in the state, will buy all of the output from the one-megawatt solar power facility under the terms of a 20-year power purchase agreement with DEGS, a Duke Energy Commercial Businesses unit. The solar farm began generating renewable power in early October 2010.
EnergyUnited will also receive all associated renewable energy credits (RECs) from the solar project. These RECs help the cooperative meet the N.C. Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard requirement to obtain 10 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2018.
The solar farm’s 4,224 photovoltaic panels can generate enough electricity to power about 150 average-sized homes. The panels use a tracking system to follow the sun’s movement during the day, which increases sunlight capture (as compared to conventional fixed-tilt systems) and reduces land use requirements.
DEGS acquired the project in October 2010 from SunEdison, a global provider of solar energy services, which designed and installed the PV system at the Taylorsville site.
The solar farm is the third in DEGS’ growing commercial solar generation portfolio. DEGS owns and operates a 1-MW PV solar project in Shelby, N.C., and a 14-MW facility in San Antonio.
In addition to its renewable energy contracts, EnergyUnited continues to examine potential investments in hydropower, wind power and biomass projects.
DEGS’ renewable energy initiatives are separate from the activities of Duke Energy Carolinas, which is part of Duke Energy’s regulated business. Duke Energy Carolinas is installing solar panels on select business and residential customers’ properties as part of a $50 million program approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission in May 2009.