Duke seeks offers on 50 MW of solar in the Duke Energy Carolinas territory

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) on Feb. 17 issued a request for proposals (RFP) for up to 50 MW of new solar energy capacity in North Carolina.

The qualifying solar projects, 2 MW or larger, would be tied to the company’s Green Source Rider. That program, approved in late 2013 by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, allows large customers of Duke Energy Carolinas to supply new electricity load with renewable energy.

“We explored multiple options with potential Green Source Rider-qualified customers over the past year, and in-state solar appears to be a good fit for meeting their needs,” said Duke Energy’s Rob Caldwell, senior vice president, Distributed Energy Resources. “We will work with these customers to identify the best projects at the most competitive price.”

Duke Energy is looking for projects of 2 MW or larger in the Duke Energy Carolinas territory. It gives developers the opportunity to sell power for up to 15 years, or to negotiate with Duke Energy for the utility to acquire ownership of the new facilities. Final selection will be based on pricing, customer preference and other considerations.

Caldwell said the company would like the projects to be online by the end of 2015, if possible – but it will consider projects with a 2016 delivery date. The RFP is limited to projects that are in the company’s current transmission and distribution queue. Duke Energy will give preference to projects in the latter stages of development.

For more information about the Duke Energy Carolinas RFP, send an email to DECRenewableRFP@duke-energy.com.

Duke Energy currently owns or purchases almost 600 MW of solar capacity in North Carolina. In December 2014, Duke Energy received regulatory approval for a $500 million expansion of solar energy for its customers – including three facilities the company will own and operate, totaling 128 MW. The company will also purchase 150 MW from five other large-scale solar facilities.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission in recent months has approved certificates of public convenience and necessity for dozens of solar projects, most of them around 5 MW (ac) in size, and many of them in the Duke Energy Carolinas service territory. So there are likely to be a lot of offers in this RFP.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.