Duke Energy scouts out 50 MW of solar in North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina-headquartered utility Duke Energy has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for up to 50 MW of solar PV capacity across the state as it seeks a continuation of its recent pro-solar portfolio expansion policy.

Duke Energy’s Green Source Rider program – approved at the end of 2013 – will manage all new solar projects commissioned, and enable Duke Energy Carolinas customers to supply new electricity load with renewable energy.

The utility hopes to identify a suite of projects 2 MW or larger across the territory covered by Duke Energy Carolinas, and will offer developers the opportunity to sell power for up to 15 years or, alternatively, negotiate with Duke Energy to purchase the new solar plant.

Duke Energy confirmed it will base its decision on post-installation pricing, customer preference and other considerations.

"We explored multiple options with potential Green Source Rider-qualified customers over the past year, and in-state solar appears to be a good fit for meeting their needs," said Rob Caldwell, SVP of Duke Energy’s distributed energy resources. "We will work with these customers to identify the best projects at the most competitive price."

According to Caldwell, Duke Energy will push for the entire 50 MW pipeline to be online before the end of the year, although a delivery date of early 2016 would not be discounted. The RFP is limited to projects that are currently lined up in Duke Energy’s current transmission and distribution queue, with further preference given to those solar projects that are in the latter stages of development.