Duke issues 300MW solar RFP

Duke Energy has issued a request for proposals for 300MW of new solar energy capacity in its Carolinas and Florida service territories, with the new capacity to be fully online 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.

It 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 is targeting solar facilities greater than 5MW. The RFP 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.

"Our mission is to bring more renewable generation onto the Duke Energy system in the most cost-effective manner possible," says Rob Caldwell, vice president for renewable generation development. "This RFP allows the company to take advantage of projects already in the planning stages."

Caldwell added there are many eligible projects – with more than 2.5GW of capacity being proposed in North Carolina by solar developers.

He notes that the proposal will practically double our current solar capacity for customers in the Carolinas. "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," he adds.

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.