Duke Energy Launches Push for Solar Near Orlando

Over the past eight years, the company has invested more than $4 billion in wind and solar facilities across 12 states.

By Anca Gagiuc

Osceola County Solar Facility
Osceola County Solar Facility

St. Petersburg, Fla.—To mark the beginning of Duke Energy’s statewide push for solar power, the company and county officials will commemorate the launch of a new plant during the Aug. 1 meeting of the Osceola County Commission.

The Osceola County Solar Facility, which officially started commercial operation on May 12, is about the size of 13 football fields and produces nearly 4 megawatts of carbon-free energy.

“As the cost of solar energy continues to decrease and the efficiency of panels grows, we’re increasing our investments in solar,” said Alex Glenn, Duke Energy state president for Florida, in a statement. “It’s part of our ongoing strategy to offer clean energy and provide customers more options to use renewable energy.”

Advanced Green Technologies of Florida designed, engineered and developed the facility on 17 acres next to an existing Duke Energy substation in Kenansville.

“When you say Kenansville, people automatically think agriculture. Now they can think technology, too. Solar is a new type of ‘farming’ for my district—one with a positive environmental impact,” said Osceola County Commissioner Fred Hawkins. “Adding a renewable source like solar gives Duke Energy customers a more balanced energy mix and that’s more important today than ever before.”

Osceola County Solar Facility is the first step in Duke’s long-range plan to create 35 megawatts of solar energy capacity in Florida by 2018 and up to 500 megawatts by 2024. Next up is a 5-megawatt solar facility in Perry, a city located in Taylor County about 50 miles south of Tallahassee.  That project is on track for completion in August and unveiling in October.

Image courtesy of Duke Energy