Charlotte, N.C., October 13, 2010 – Duke Energy, Integrys Energy Services and Smart Energy Capital today announced the launch of a partnership to build and finance distributed solar projects throughout the U.S.
Through the partnership, Duke Energy Generation Services and Integrys Energy Services will focus on jointly owning rooftop and smaller ground-mounted photovoltaic solar projects that deliver electricity to investment-grade commercial, government and utility customers under long-term power purchase agreements.
Smart Energy Capital will develop the projects and arrange financing, enabling DEGS and Integrys to create a streamlined, end-to-end approach to bringing solar projects to market.
“What makes this partnership unique in the marketplace is its focus on distributed solar solutions that produce renewable electricity close to where it is used, rather than at centralized power plants,” said Greg Wolf, DEGS senior vice president and head of the unit’s commercial solar business. “The companies involved bring a wealth of project development, construction, management and financing expertise to the partnership.”
DEGS, part of Duke Energy’s commercial businesses, and Integrys Energy Services, a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group, believe the majority of PV solar growth over the next several years will involve commercial-scale ground-mounted and rooftop applications.
While DEGS and Integrys will continue to independently develop commercial solar projects pursuant to their respective strategies, this partnership will serve as a way to cooperatively boost growth in an attractive segment of the solar market.
DEGS and Integrys will equally supply the necessary equity capital for construction and ownership of the distributed solar projects. Over the next two years, the companies intend to invest up to $180 million in total project capital. Individual project size is expected to be 500 kilowatts and up, depending on the needs of the customer. DEGS and Integrys will be responsible for operating and maintaining the projects.
Smart Energy Capital will work with its strategic origination partners, including CB Richard Ellis (under the name CBRE Solar) and Tremco Roofing, to help customers achieve their sustainability and energy objectives on optimal terms. The financing structure of the partnership enables DEGS and Integrys to monetize all available federal tax benefits associated with the distributed solar projects.