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Duke Energy begins construction of nearly 100 MW of new solar capacity in North Carolina

Solar Installation
Credit: Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

This week, Duke Energy announced it has begun construction on two major solar projects in North Carolina.

The projects are the 69-MW Maiden Creek solar facility, located in the Catawba County town of Maiden and the 25-MW Gaston solar facility located in the Gaston County town of Bessemer City.

The projects were selected as part of a competitive bidding process that was established from the state’s 2017’s solar legislation. The projects were among the most cost-effective and will deliver clean solar energy at the lowest possible cost, according to Duke.

Together, the projects will feature about 400,000 solar panels and will bring 380 jobs to the sites at peak construction, said Duke. Both projects are scheduled to come online by the end of this year.

On-site workers will fluctuate throughout the construction process, as Duke Energy will ensure safe work practices. The company will also provide proper traffic management support.

Under North Carolina’s Competitive Procurement for Renewable Energy, proposed projects must be built where there is a need for energy capacity on the Duke Energy system in North Carolina or South Carolina. The bids can come from any company, including Duke Energy, and can be in the form of power purchase agreements (PPA), utility self-developed facilities or utility asset acquisitions.

“Catawba County applauds Duke Energy’s efforts in partnering with the private sector to increase the use of cost-effective renewable energy,” said Randy Isenhower, chair, Catawba County Board of Commissioners. “This project will bring jobs to our community during construction and generate clean energy for years to come.”

“Building more solar supports Duke Energy’s strategy of lowering carbon emissions as we strive to meet our 2050 net-zero carbon goal,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “We participated in a rigorous bidding process – competing with other companies to bring more renewable energy to the state.”