Energy Insight Newsletter
Subscribe to our free monthly newsletter featuring renewable energy news, job postings, business profiles, conferences, and more. You may unsubscribe at any time.
Duke Energy will build between 100 and 400 electricity-generating mini solar power plants throughout North Carolina over the next two years in one of the first large-scale initiatives of its kind in the U.S., CEO Jim Rogers said today.
“Solar and wind are both going to be key parts of our strategy going forward,” Rogers told reporters following the company’s annual meeting.
The North Carolina Utilities Commission on Wednesday issued a decision allowing Duke Energy to proceed with its $50-million proposal to install solar panels on the roofs and grounds of homes, schools, office buildings, shopping malls, warehouses and industrial plants, starting later this year.
Collectively, the solar sites will generate enough electricity to power 1,300 homes.
The electricity will flow directly from the solar sites to the electrical grid that serves all customers.
Duke Energy’s solar initiative will be among the nation’s first and largest demonstrations of distributed generation, in which electricity is produced at numerous micro generating sites rather than at a large, centralized, traditional power plant.
“We are redefining our boundaries. We’re looking ahead and we’re looking around the corner,” Rogers told shareholders attending the meeting. “We believe the future is a low-carbon world. The 21st century mission of our company is to decarbonize our energy supply and provide universal access to energy efficiency.”
Duke Energy will own and maintain the solar panels during their expected 25-year lifespan. The company also will own the electricity generated.
It will pay a rental fee to property owners who host the panels for use of their roofs or land, based on the size of the installation and amount of electricity generated at any given site.
The solar plan is one of several renewable and clean-energy initiatives announced by Duke Energy in the past 12 months, including:
In addition to hearing Rogers’ remarks, shareholders re-elected all 10 members of Duke Energy’s board of directors to one-year terms. The company has a declassified board, meaning that shareholders vote on all directors at each annual meeting.
Shareholders also ratified the selection of Deloitte & Touche as the company’s independent public accountant for 2009.
Property owners interested in having their home, business or land considered as a potential solar site can register online at www.duke-energy.com/solar-host. Properties must be located in North Carolina and currently served by Duke Energy.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.
Read Large-Scale Solar Power Systems: Construction and Economics from Amazon.