Duke & NCMPA1 Develop 1-MW Solar Project

The North Carolina Municipal Power Agency Number 1 (NCMPA1) and its 19 member organizations will soon see a larger part of its energy mix coming from solar energy thanks to a photovoltaic project that was recently acquired by a division of Duke Energy. NCMPA1, which serves the city of Shelby, will buy all of the output from the 1-megawatt (MW) Shelby Solar Project under the terms of a 20-year power purchase agreement with Duke Energy Generation Services (DEGS).

NCMPA1 will also receive all associated renewable energy credits (RECs) from the project. The city of Shelby is providing the land for the project, which will be located near the Shelby-Cleveland County Regional Airport. The Shelby City Council has approved leasing the 10-acre site for the project.

“This agreement is a great start to the development of our solar resource portfolio,” said Graham Edwards, CEO of ElectriCities, the management services organization for NCMPA1. “Solar power is a great complement to our existing power supply portfolio, providing peak power during the daylight hours, while also helping to maintain our very small carbon footprint.”

The Shelby Solar Project will be DEGS‘ first renewable energy facility in North Carolina. DEGS acquired the project from SunPower Corp., which designed and is installing the photovoltaic system at the Shelby site. The project, which will consist of 4,500 ground-mounted crystalline silicon panels, will use SunPower Tracker technology. The Shelby Solar Project is expected to be completed and energized by late May 2010.

The Shelby Solar Project will be DEGS’ second commercial solar power project. Earlier this year, DEGS acquired the 16-MW Blue Wing Solar Project in San Antonio, Texas. Blue Wing is scheduled to begin producing electricity for San Antonio-based CPS Energy, one of the largest municipality-owned utilities in the U.S., by the fourth quarter of 2010.

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