Duke Energy aims to double Carolinas solar capacity
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Charlotte-based Duke on Friday issued a request for proposals for 300 megawatts of new solar energy capacity that would be in service by the end of 2015. The new capacity would be installed in the Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress territories.
The RFP targets solar facilities greater than 5MW. Duke is limiting the RFP to projects that are in the utility’s current transmission and distribution queue, projects that Duke says have a realistic chance to be completed by the end of 2015. Under the RFP, bidders would be able to pursue long term projects or negotiate with Duke to take ownership of the facilities when they become operational. Affiliates of Duke will not be allowed to submit bids.
"Our mission is to bring more renewable generation onto the Duke Energy system in the most cost-effective manner possible," Rob Caldwell, vice president, Renewable Generation Development said in a statement. "This RFP allows the company to take advantage of projects already in the planning stages."
Caldwell says many North Carolina projects are eligible to apply as more than 2,500 MW of capacity has been proposed in the state by solar developers.
Duke would count the new solar generation toward North Carolina’s renewable energy portfolio standard, a requirement for utilities to meet up to 12.5 percent of their electricity generation from renewable energy sources or energy efficiency measures. South Carolina facilities connected to Duke’s Carolinas system will be eligible to submit proposals as long as they meet other criteria in the RFP.
Duke expects to have projects selected and negotiations completed by Oct. 1. The Carolinas RFP follows Duke’s announcement last week seeking proposals for new solar capacity in its Indiana territory.
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