Duke Energy looks to build solar power projects in North Carolina

The new renewable energy capacity would be in service by the end of 2015

Duke Energy issued a request for proposals for 300 MW of new solar energy capacity in its Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress territories. The new renewable energy capacity would be in service by the end of 2015.

The request gives bidders the flexibility to offer power and associated renewable energy certificates, and/or to provide a turnkey solution in which Duke Energy takes ownership of the new facility.

The RFP allows Duke Energy to further its commitment to renewable energy, diversify its energy mix and meet North Carolina's Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards (REPS).

The company's request is targeting solar facilities greater than 5 MW. It is limited to projects that are in the company's current transmission and distribution queue, as those have a realistic chance to be completed by the end of 2015. Duke Energy affiliates will not be allowed to participate in the RFP.

There are many eligible projects — with more than 2,500 MW of capacity being proposed in the state by solar developers.

The company should be able to have projects selected and negotiations completed by October 1, 2014.

North Carolina's REPS allows for renewable energy facilities connected to the Carolinas system to meet the state's compliance obligations. As a result, facilities in South Carolina will be eligible to submit proposals for the power and associated renewable energy certificates, if they meet other criteria in the RFP.

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