- Duke Energy has issued a request for proposals seeking up to 50 MW of new solar energy capacity in North Carolina.
- The company said it is looking for projects 2 MW or larger in the Duke Energy Carolinas territory, and will give developers the opportunity to sell power for up to 15 years or to negotiate for the utility to acquire ownership of the new facilities.
- Duke already owns or purchases almost 600 MW of solar capacity in North Carolina.
Duke Energy is looking to expand on its substantial solar portfolio in North Carolina, and is seeking projects 2 MW or larger that would be tied to the company's Green Source Rider. That program, approved in late 2013 by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, allows large customers of Duke Energy Carolinas to supply new electricity load with renewable energy.
"We explored multiple options with potential Green Source Rider-qualified customers over the past year, and in-state solar appears to be a good fit for meeting their needs," said Duke Energy's Rob Caldwell, senior vice president of distributed energy resources. "We will work with these customers to identify the best projects at the most competitive price."
Duke would like the projects to be online by the end of this year, but the utility will consider projects with a 2016 delivery date. The request for proposals is limited to projects that are in the company's current transmission and distribution queue, and Duke said it will give preference to projects in the latter stages of development.
In December, Duke Energy received regulatory approval for a $500 million expansion of solar energy for its customers including three facilities the company will own and operate, totaling 128 MW. The company will also purchase 150 MW of power from five other large-scale solar facilities. Combined, the projects will increase solar in Duke Energy's North Carolina territory by almost 50%, the company said.