Principal Solar to develop 72.9 MW North Carolina solar park


U.S. solar power developer Principal Solar has unveiled plans to build its second utility-scale PV plant in the state of North Carolina, releasing details of a 72.9 MW park to be constructed Fayetteville.

Once completed in early 2016, the plant will bring Principal Solar’s PV portfolio up to 151.4 MW. The developer last month announced it will also construct a 78.5 MW solar part in North Carolina’s Cumberland County – an installation that, once complete, will be the single-largest solar plant in the U.S. east of the Rockies.

Duke Energy Progress, a subsidiary of local utility firm Duke Energy, has agreed a 10-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Principal Solar for the clean energy produced by the Fayetteville plant, which will generate enough solar power to meet the energy needs of 14,400 local households annually.

"This latest solar facility, our second major announcement in 2015, demonstrates Principal Solar’s momentum and leadership in the solar utility sector, meeting the growing demand for zero-emission, cost-efficient energy," said Principal Solar CEO and chairman Michael Gorton. "Both of these projects have stable sources of revenue and demonstrate the growing importance of solar power to the U.S. energy industry."

The rights for the $154 million project were acquired from Innovative Solar Systems, of Asheville, North Carolina, with full acquisition expected to close no later than August 30 this summer.

The plant will be located near to St. Pauls in the southern part of the state, and will bolster North Carolina’s growing solar PV portfolio, which is among the most robust and dynamic across the entire U.S.