- Duke Energy Renewables has contracted to supply solar power from its Capital Partners Solar Project solar power plant to be built in North Carolina to George Washington University, American University and the George Washington University Hospital.
- Duke will break ground on the 52 megawatt project at the first of three sites this summer, build in three stages, bring the first 20 megawatts online this year and add the final 32 megawatts to be fully operational in 2015.
- The 20 year contract between Duke and the universities is the biggest solar power purchase agreement (PPA) with a non-utility off-taker in the U.S. and the PV project is the biggest east of the Mississippi River, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
Duke responded to an RFP from the universities and won the PPAs in a competitive bidding process that included 28 wind and solar developers.
George Washington University spent about $13 million on electricity in 2013 and American University spent about $5 million and university officials expect the move to solar to save “millions of dollars” as the cost of conventional generation rises.
American University President Neil Kerwin said the school is aggressively pursuing the goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2020.