14 massive new solar projects (10 in NC; 4 in SC) have just been approved for our region. The new projects will cost a total of $750 million and are expected to produce roughly 602 megawatts of total solar energy. The new solar installations will bring North Carolina even closer to becoming the #1 solar-producing state in America (we are currently #2 in the US).
The projects were selected and approved during an independently judged bidding process – part of North Carolina’s Competitive Procurement of Renewable Energy (CPRE) program.
According to independent administrator Accion Group, customers throughout the Carolinas will see a total savings of around $375 million over the 20-year contract period (See the Accion report here).
“There was robust interest in the CPRE program, and the selected projects will provide 20 years of cost-effective energy. Given the response, we are expecting the next phase of the program to also bring cost savings to customers,” said Harry Judd of the Accion Group, which independently administered the solicitation process.
The 14 projects represent the most competitive of the 78 that were submitted when bidding opened last July. The process used was approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) to select projects that would deliver the greatest cost and system benefits to customers.
“As solar energy expands in the Carolinas, the competitive bidding process will lead to better prices and more geographic diversity of projects,” said Rob Caldwell, senior vice president and president of Duke Energy Renewables & Business Development.
With the winning projects selected, the winning bidders will execute contracts for the projects over the next few months. Once the contracting process is complete, Duke Energy and Accion Group will finalize a report of all projects to be filed with the NCUC around June 2019.
Most projects are targeted to be online around the end of 2020. However, the dates may vary depending upon local approvals and any construction delays.
There were 10 projects selected from North Carolina and four projects from South Carolina. Two projects selected included battery storage with the solar facility.