Duke Energy Boosts Solar Holdings with Six New N.C. Projects

Duke Energy Renewables recently acquired six North Carolina solar projects, which will generate enough solar energy to power about 6,000 homes.
Duke Energy solar plant in N.C.

Duke Energy solar plant in N.C.

Charlotte, N.C.Duke Energy Renewables continues boosting its solar energy assets in North Carolina, adding six 5-megawatt (MW) solar projects in the eastern part of the state from Community Energy.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Five of the six sites are in service. The final site–Seaboard Solar in Northampton, N.C.–comes online this month. Together these facilities will generate enough solar energy to power about 6,000 homes. The other five sites are: Tarboro Solar in Edgecombe County, Winton Solar in Hertford County and Woodland, Gaston and Garysburg Solar, all in Northampton County.

This latest acquisition comes about a month after Duke Energy Renewables, based in Charlotte, N.C., purchased two MW solar projects from ET Capital, a member of the ET Solar and lead developer of the facilities in Hertford, N.C., and Garysburg, N.C. The power from those projects is being sold to Dominion NC Power under 15-year agreements.

Power from this latest group of solar farms will also be sold to Dominion NC Power under 15-year agreements. About 135,000 solar modules are installed on the six sites, which were constructed by Gehrlicher Solar America Corp., a division of M&W Americas Inc.

“Community energy was one of the early entrants into both North Carolina and eastern solar markets and greatly appreciates the opportunity to now be working with an industry leader like Duke Energy Renewables on these projects,” Eric Blank, president of Community Energy Solar, said in a prepared statement.

“Last year, our commercial and regulated businesses added 300 MW of solar power in North Carolina, and these projects continue the momentum of renewable energy growth in the state,” noted Greg Wolf, president, Duke Energy Commercial Portfolio. “We’re pleased to work with Community Energy and proud to be part of the economic development and jobs the solar industry has brought to North Carolina.”

Duke Energy Renewables, part of Duke Energy’s Commercial Portfolio, is a leader in developing both solar and wind energy projects. It has 18 wind farms and 42 solar farms operating in 12 states, totaling about 2,500 MW in electric-generating capacity.

Duke Energy companies, both regulated and commercial, have installed about 450 MW of solar energy in the state, enough to power 85,000 homes. The company is just one of more than 188 solar firms that are active in North Carolina. In 2015, 1,134 MW of solar energy capacity was installed across the state, placing it second nationally, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. As of last year, the state ranked third in the nation with 2,087 MW of installed capacity, enough to power 223,000 homes. That number is expected to continue growing. The SEIA reported $1.7 billion was invested in 2015 on solar installations in the state, a 159 percent increase over 2014.