This month will see the completion of ESA Renewables’s 1.3MW commercial rooftop solar project in New Bern, North Carolina, US. ESA claims this will be one of the largest rooftop PV arrays in eastern North Carolina.
The turnkey solar solutions provider has executed a 20-year term PPA contract with Progress Energy. ESA will operate, maintain the system and additionally install its proprietary monitoring system. Progress Energy was in the news last week when the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the transfer of indirect control of four of its nuclear power plants to Duke Energy in anticipation of their expected merger.
Subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, the merger of Progress Energy and Duke Energy will create the nation’s largest utility company, with more than seven million customers in six service territories – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. The two companies’ mix of coal, nuclear, natural gas, oil and renewable resources will total approximately 57GW of US generating capacity. The combined company will be called Duke Energy and headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Earlier this year, Duke Energy purchased projects with a combined 3MW capacity from ESA. This includes the 4,298-panel Murphy Farm Solar Project, which achieved commercial operation in May; the 4,340-panel Wingate Solar Project, which is sited on approximately seven acres of purchased land and achieved commercial operation in August; and the 4,242-panel Holiness Solar Project on approximately nine acres that achieved commercial operation in November.
The president of ESA Renewables, Jeffrey Burkett, said, “ESA is delighted to take a leading role in the adoption of solar power in New Bern. Renewable energy projects such as this rooftop solar array boost economic development, create jobs and have a positive impact on our environment.”
ESA has selected Advanced Energy AE PV Powered 260kW commercial inverters to complete the installation alongside 5,166 modules from Canadian Solar.The modules will generate 245W and the installation will cover 175,122 square feet of rooftop space on the building. This project is expected to produce 1,691,639kWh of electricity per year, enough clean renewable energy to power approximately 200 homes each year.
”This is an exciting project and a landmark installation in a region that hasn’t traditionally been thought of as a prime solar energy market,” said Alan King, general manager of Canadian Solar USA.