Duke Energy today received regulatory approval from the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) to acquire and construct three large solar facilities in eastern North Carolina. Located in Bladen, Duplin and Wilson counties, the three sites owned by Duke Energy will provide energy and renewable energy certificates to benefit Duke Energy customers as cost-effective components of the company's portfolio to comply with the N.C. Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard.
"We are pleased the NCUC has approved the company's request to build these facilities," said Rob Caldwell, Duke Energy's senior vice president for distributed energy resources. "These projects will help provide significant amounts of cost-effective renewable energy to benefit our customers, comply with our state obligations and provide meaningful investments in the communities we serve."
The projects will begin construction in early 2015, and are expected to be completed by the end of 2015. More than 750 construction jobs are expected during the peak of construction at the three sites. The three projects will total 128MW of capacity. Overall, Duke Energy's expansion totals 278MW of new solar capacity. The company's efforts have contributed significantly to North Carolina's status as fourth in the nation for installed solar power.
The three acquired projects include:
- The 65MW Warsaw Solar Facility in Duplin County. The Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) was transferred to Duke Energy from Strata Solar.
- The 40MW Elm City Solar Facility in Wilson County. The CPCN was transferred to Duke Energy from HelioSage Energy.
- The 23MW Fayetteville Solar Facility in Bladen County, near the Cumberland County border. The CPCN was transferred to Duke Energy from Tangent Energy Solutions.