Lockheed Martin signs 30MW North Carolina solar PPA with Duke Energy

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The aerospace and security company says it is covering around 16% of electricity demand with clean energy - including renewable energy credits. Image: US Air Force.

Lockheed Martin has signed a solar power purchase agreement (PPA) with Duke Energy in the US for energy from an 80MW power plant in North Carolina.

The security and aerospace company announced the 17-year deal yesterday for power from the large-scale plant in the North Carolina town of Conetoe, on which work began in September.

Lockheed’s commitment covers 30MW of the plant’s capacity, around 72,000MWh per year, which will produce power for the US grid. Lockheed said the PPA would “provide clean energy across all Lockheed Martin business segments”.

According to Lockheed, the company is now using close to 260,000MWh of green energy annually – including renewable energy credits. In total that figure covers around 16% of the company’s electricity use, while the group has a target of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 35% from 2010 levels by 2020.

Lockheed Martin VP of energy, environment, safety and health Carol B Cala said the deal was partly a result of the company “looking for operational efficiencies and best business value to our operations”. The company’s VP of ethics and sustainability Leo Mackay said that Lockheed was demonstrating that “investing in large-scale renewable power that delivers cleaner electricity doesn’t have to cost more”.

In December, Duke Energy signed a 25-year deal with materials science company Corning Incorporated for 50MW of the Conetoe facility’s generating capacity.

The utility added 300MW of PV energy in the state last year, including the development of four plants totalling 141MW of capacity which Duke Energy now owns.

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