Duke Energy issues 300 MW solar energy request in North Carolina

Power holding company Duke Energy has issued a 300 MW RFP in North Carolina (NC) as it ramps up its efforts to comply with the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standards.

The Charlotte, NC-headquartered company is hoping to add new solar PV capacity in its Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress territories, with an inauguration of service date set for the end of 2015.

Bidders for the RFP can offer to supply either full renewable energy certificates or provide a turnkey solution of which Duke Energy will take ownership as it seeks to diversify its energy mix. The RFP targets those solar installations that are greater than 5 MW in capacity, and is limited only to those projects that can be realistically completed by the end of 2015. Any affiliates of Duke Energy will be not invited to participate in the RFP.

"This proposal will practically double our current solar capacity for customers in the Carolinas," said Duke Energy’s VP for renewable generation development, Rob Caldwell. "It gives developers the opportunity to pursue projects for the long term, or to negotiate for Duke Energy to acquire ownership of the new facilities once they are operational."

North Carolina’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards (REPS) enables any renewable energy facility that is connected to the Carolinas system to be eligible for compliance obligations. Duke Energy is eager to add more renewable energy generation capacity, with the RFP allowing the company to target those projects that are already in the planning stages.

"For bidders who wish for Duke Energy to assume ownership, it will allow us to better locate and integrate the new capacity into our energy mix," added Caldwell. "We are in the best position to manage the unique characteristics of intermittent solar generation into our existing system to assure cost-effective, reliable, dependable electricity for our customers."