Duke Energy to purchase 602MW solar capacity under North Carolina’s CPRE program

Duke Energy revealed its plan to produce or purchase a total of 602MW in solar capacity from 14 projects in North Carolina, under the state’s Competitive Procurement of Renewable Energy (CPRE) program.

As per Duke Energy, the 14 projects are claimed to be the most competitive out of the 78 projects that were submitted when the bidding opened in July 2018. And, the process used to select the projects was approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC).

According to independent administrator Accion Group, the projects could save as much as $375m over a 20-year period for Duke Energy customers.

Accion Group’s Harry Judd noted: “There was robust interest in the CPRE program, and the selected projects will provide 20 years of cost-effective energy to the Duke Energy system. Given the response, we are expecting the next phase of the program to also bring cost savings to customers.”

As the renewable energy projects are selected, Duke Energy and the winning bidders will now begin executing the contracts for the projects in the coming months. Duke Energy and Accion Group will finalize a report of all projects to be filed with the NCUC, this June, after the contracting processes have been completed.

Most of the projects are expected to come online by the end of next year. The projects include ten being selected from North Carolina and four projects being selected from South Carolina. Out of the total 14 projects, two include battery storage with the solar facility. They were not Duke Energy projects.

The company secured six projects totaling 270MW, representing about 45% of the total awarded. The winning projects include the 69MW project in Catawba County, 25MW project in Gaston County, 50MW project in Cleveland County, 22.6MW project in Surry County, 22.6MW project in 22.6-MW – Cabarrus/Stanly counties and 80MW project in Onslow County in North Carolina.

Duke Energy already has over 3GW of solar capacity connected to its grid in the Carolinas. The company expects to invest or procure a total of 7GW by 2025.