Duke Energy today issued a request for proposals (RFP) for 300 megawatts (MW) of new solar energy capacity in its Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress territories. The new capacity would be in service by the end of 2015.
The RFP 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).
"This proposal will practically double our current solar capacity for customers in the Carolinas," said Rob Caldwell, vice president, Renewable Generation Development. "It gives developers the opportunity to pursue projects for the long term, or to negotiate for Duke Energy to acquire ownership of the new facilities once they are operational."
The company's RFP 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.
Caldwell added there are many eligible projects – with more than 2,500 MW of capacity being proposed in the state by solar developers.
"Our mission is to bring more renewable generation onto the Duke Energy system in the most cost-effective manner possible," said Caldwell. "This RFP allows the company to take advantage of projects already in the planning stages."
Caldwell said the company should be able to have projects selected and negotiations completed by Oct. 1, 2014. He added the ownership option gives Duke Energy additional benefits.
"For bidders who wish for Duke Energy to assume ownership, it will allow us to better locate and integrate the new capacity into our energy mix," he said. "We are in the best position to manage the unique characteristics of intermittent solar generation into our existing system to assure cost-effective, reliable, dependable electricity for our customers."
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.
Today's RFP comes on the heels of an RFP for new solar capacity by Duke Energy Indiana last week. http://www.duke-energy.com/news/releases/2014020301.asp
More information about the Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress RFP can be viewed here: http://www.duke-energy.com/generate-your-own-power/nc-renewable-energy-certs.asp