Solar

First Duke Solar Power Project in NC Completed

A one-megawatt solar power project owned and operated by Duke Energy is now producing clean, renewable electricity for North Carolina Municipal Power Agency Number 1 (NCMPA1), which serves the city of Shelby, North Carolina.

NCMPA1 and its 19 member organizations will buy all of the output from the Shelby Solar Project for the next 20 years under the terms of its power purchase agreement with Duke Energy Generation Services (DEGS). NCMPA1 will also receive all associated renewable energy credits (RECs) from the project.

These RECs help the power agency meet the N.C. Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard requirement to obtain 0.2 percent of its energy through solar resources by 2018.

The Shelby Solar Project’s 1-megawatt (MW) of solar panels were installed by SunPower Corp., which designed and built the solar photovoltaic system at the Shelby site. The company installed 4,500 crystalline silicon panels mounted on SunPower Tracker technology.

The city of Shelby provided the land for the project, which is located near the Shelby-Cleveland County Regional Airport. The Shelby City Council approved leasing the 10-acre site for the project.

The Shelby Solar Project is DEGS’ first solar energy facility in North Carolina. DEGS is also building the 16-MW Blue Wing Solar Project in San Antonio, Texas. Blue Wing is scheduled for commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2010, when it will begin supplying electricity to San Antonio-based CPS Energy, one of the largest municipality-owned utilities in the U.S.