Duke issues request for 300MW of PV in Carolinas

  • North Carolina Solar Decathlon
    As Duke Energy seeks further solar energy to add to its portfolio, North Carolina was ranked second in a top ten list of solar states. Image: Department of Energy solar decathlon photo stream

The largest electric holding power company in the US, Duke Energy has issued a Request for Proposals (RfP) for 300MW of solar.

The RfP was issued on 14 February for projects in Duke Energy’s Carolinas and Progress territories, which includes North and South Carolina and Florida.

Any proposed solar plants should be operational by 2015; bidders can offer power, renewables certificates or whole projects for Duke Energy to take ownership. 

Projects must be over 5MW in capacity, and the proposal only applies to projects already in Duke Energy’s transmission and distribution queue, to assure completion by 2015. Duke Energy affiliates are excluded from the proposal request.

North Carolina's Renewable Energy, and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards (REPS) and Duke Energy’s renewable targets will be assisted by the request.

Any projects that can be connected to the Carolinas’ system are eligible, so proposals from South Carolina will also be considered.

The proposals will “practically double” current solar capacity for Duke Energty customers in the Carolinas, said Rob Caldwell, vice president of renewable generation development at Duke Energy. "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." 

"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," Caldwell said. "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."

Caldwell also said there are more than 2,500MW in solar proposals already in North Carolina.

Duke Energy began constructing 30MW of solar in North Carolina, back in November 2013.

According to analysts NPD Solarbuzz, North Carolina leapt three places up the top-10 solar state list in 2013 to take second place to California. North Carolina accounted for 8% of all new solar installations in the US in the last quarter of this year and its PV market is predicted to grow by 80% by the end of the year.

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