Expanding its rapidly growing clean-energy portfolio, Duke Energy just started construction on the massive 22.6-Megawatt Speedway Solar power plant in Cabarrus County.
The project will be owned and operated by Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions, a new commercial brand that includes Duke Energy Renewables. The project was selected as part of the competitive bidding process established by 2017’s landmark solar legislation in North Carolina.
The power plant will contain about 77,000 Jinko bifacial modules with single-axis tracking. The plant will be located on 185 acres in Midland, N.C. – near the corner of Wallace Road and Bethel Avenue Extension. The facility will power the equivalent of 5,000 homes. It is targeting commercial operation by the end of 2021.
“Duke Energy is making an aggressive push to expand renewable energy, reduce carbon emissions and achieve a net-zero carbon goal for 2050,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “An expansion of solar power will be a key element of that effort.”
During peak construction, Speedway Solar will employ about 70 workers. Along with indirect economic benefits that accompany solar project development, such as increased local spending in the service and construction industries, Speedway Solar will also have a positive economic impact on the local community by providing local tax revenues to the county and local school districts, as well as meaningful payments to the participating landowners.
Over the past few years, our state has seen billions of dollars committed for new solar projects. One of our state’s biggest solar facilities (which is now being added onto) is Apple’s solar array in Maiden, NC, used to power it’s massive east coast cloud data center.