Duke Energy selects 14 solar projects, 602 MW in all

Bringing more cost-effective solar energy to the Carolinas, 14 utility-scale projects have been selected during an independently judged bidding process — part of a 2017 comprehensive renewable energy law.

Based on an independent evaluation process, Duke Energy will produce or purchase a total of 602 MW of renewable energy from projects under the North Carolina’s Competitive Procurement of Renewable Energy (CPRE) program.

According to independent administrator Accion Group, customers will see savings of around $375 million over the 20-year contract period versus the company’s avoided cost – the price at which many solar contracts had been set prior to the CPRE program. 

The 14 projects represent the most competitive of the 78 that were submitted when bidding opened last July. The process used was approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission to select projects that would deliver the greatest cost and system benefits to customers.

With the winning projects selected, Duke Energy and the winning bidders will execute contracts for the projects over the next few months. Once the contracting process is complete, Duke Energy and Accion Group will finalize a report of all projects to be filed with the NCUC around June 2019.

Most projects are targeted to be online around the end of 2020. However, the dates may vary depending upon local approvals and any construction delays.

There were 10 projects selected from North Carolina and four projects from South Carolina. Two projects selected included battery storage with the solar facility. They were not Duke Energy projects.

Duke Energy was awarded six projects totaling about 270 MW — representing almost 45 percent of the total awarded. With 40 solar projects already in North Carolina, the final results showcase Duke Energy’s competitiveness at building solar power plants.

The projects include:

Duke Energy Carolinas: 69-MW — Catawba County, N.C.

Duke Energy Carolinas: 25-MW — Gaston County, N.C.

Duke Energy Renewables: 50-MW — Cleveland County, N.C.

Duke Energy Renewables: 22.6-MW — Surry County, N.C.

Duke Energy Renewables: 22.6-MW — Cabarrus/Stanly counties, N.C.

Duke Energy Progress: 80-MW — Onslow County, N.C.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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