The Duke Energy Renewables unit of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) has begun construction of a 5-MW utility-scale solar power project in Beaufort County, N.C., near Bath and Washington, adjacent to its 12.5-MW Washington White Post facility.
“The Washington White Post II Solar Power Project brings together the same top-tier team that worked on the original solar facility,” said Duke Energy Renewables President Greg Wolf in a Sept. 9 statement. “We appreciate working with a community committed to bringing economic development and renewable, emissions-free energy to eastern North Carolina.”
As in the initial project, the solar energy generated from the Washington White Post II site will be sold through a 15-year agreement to North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency (NCEMPA).
“NCEMPA is pleased to be collaborating on another solar project with Duke Energy Renewables,” said Andrew Fusco, director of planning for ElectriCities of North Carolina. “The first Washington White Post project was very successful, and Duke Energy Renewables and SunEnergy1 have proven to be dependable business partners.”
Duke Energy Renewables has contracted with SunEnergy1, a solar design, engineering and construction company based in Mooresville, N.C., to build the 27,450-panel photovoltaic project. It should be complete by the end of 2013 and will generate enough electricity to power about 1,000 homes.
“The Duke Energy-owned White Post solar project, at more than 17 MW when totaling both phases, will be the largest system in North Carolina,” said Kenny Habul, CEO of SunEnergy1. “The project has brought tremendous investment and job creation to Beaufort county. We at SunEnergy1 are very proud to be partnered with Duke and applaud their continued commitment to renewable solar power.”
The Washington White Post II Solar Power Project is Duke Energy Renewables’ 17th wholly-owned commercial solar farm. In addition to its 12.5-MW sister site in Beaufort County and the 5-MW Murfreesboro Solar Power Project, also in eastern North Carolina, Duke Energy Renewables owns six 1-MW solar facilities in the western part of the state. Since 2007, Duke Energy has invested more than $3bn to grow its commercial wind and solar business.
The North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency consists of 32 cities and towns in eastern North Carolina, including some of the largest cities in the region, that own and operate their electric systems. SunEnergy1 offers comprehensive solar technology, cool roofing, and LED lighting solutions.