Duke Energy, City of Charlotte to Develop 35 MW Solar Project

The City of Charlotte has become the 1st municipality to execute a renewable power agreement under Duke Energy GSA program to develop a 35 MW solar facility

The City of Charlotte has become the first municipality to execute a renewable power agreement under Duke Energy’s Green Source Advantage (GSA) program – further expanding solar energy in North Carolina. The 35-megawatt (MW) solar facility will be constructed in Iredell County. Under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA), Duke Energy will secure zero-carbon power to partially offset the city of Charlotte’s energy demand.

“We are proud to be a municipal leader in North Carolina and in the U.S., not only setting ambitious climate and energy goals but taking actions on those goals to support the environment and health of our community,” said Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles.

The city will partner with Carolina Solar Energy, a North Carolina-based solar energy company, and Ecoplexus, an international solar energy company with offices in Durham, N.C., to build the solar farm, which is expected to be fully operational in 2022.

“Our customers want more options to secure renewable energy and the Green Source Advantage makes that happen,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “We designed the program to be flexible and allow larger users to negotiate directly with third-party developers. It supports our customers’ goal and expands renewable energy in North Carolina.”

The GSA program is an outgrowth of 2017’s landmark solar legislation in North Carolina. Programs such as solar rebates for customers and solar leasing were also part of that legislation. In 2015, Duke Energy‘s pilot program for GSA – the Green Source Rider – had companies like Google and Cisco participate. The GSA allows large customers to offset their power purchases by securing renewable energy from projects connected to the Duke Energy grid. The customer may keep the renewable energy certificates (RECs) from the projects and use the energy purchased to satisfy sustainability or carbon-free goals.

The move fits well with Charlotte’s goal to have its municipal fleet and facilities be fuelled by 100 percent zero-carbon energy sources by 2030. Participation in Green Source Advantage means the City will offset a portion of the energy supplied to its municipal operations with renewable energy. The city and the solar developer agreed on the specific project and additional costs associated with energy from the facility.

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