Duke Energy seeks solar suppliers to launch $100
million solar plan
Duke Energy Carolinas is seeking bids from solar
power companies to supply solar panels, electrical
equipment and installation services as part of the
utility’s proposed $100 million North Carolina solar
Starting in early 2009, Duke Energy hopes to install
electricity-generating photovoltaic solar panels
at up to 850 North Carolina sites, including homes,
schools, office buildings, shopping malls, warehouses
and large manufacturing facilities – both on roofs
and on the ground.
Electricity generated through the program would
total at least 16 megawatts – enough to power 2,600
homes – after the solar power is converted from
direct current to alternating current.
The proposal, first announced in June, requires
approval by the North Carolina Utilities Commission
before it can be implemented.
Duke Energy would own and, through contractors,
install and maintain the solar panels. The utility
also would own the electricity generated, which
would be sent to the electrical grid that serves
The company would compensate homeowners, businesses
and other entities that offer their roofs or land
for the program, based on the size of the installation
and amount of electricity generated at any given
The solar plan would be Duke Energy’s first large-scale
involvement in distributed generation, in which
electricity is generated close to customers rather
than at large, centralized power plants.
Duke Energy will begin installations in early 2009,
contingent on regulatory approval. The company proposes
to complete all installations by late 2010.
Each installation is expected to have a useful life
of 20 to 25 years.