CHARLOTTE, N.C. –Bringing more cost-effective solar energy to the Carolinas, 12 utility-scale projects have been selected during an independently judged bidding process – part of a 2017 comprehensive renewable energy law.
Based on an independent evaluation process, Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC) has presented 11 projects with contracts for a total of 614 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy from projects under the North Carolina’s Competitive Procurement of Renewable Energy (CPRE) program. Duke Energy Progress (DEP) is offering one project a 20-year contract for 75 MW of renewable energy.
According to Independent Administrator Accion Group LLC, customers will see savings of around $103 million over the 20-year contract period versus the company’s Avoided Cost – the price at which many solar contracts had been set prior to the CPRE program.
“This was the second phase of the CPRE program and exceeded the target goal of 680 MW. For this tranche, Duke provided more granular avoided cost prices across more time periods, which clearly improved the ability for developers to provide robust responses. We are pleased with the interest in the CPRE program and look forward to the next installment, which should be released before the end of the year. The process benefitted from the participation of interested parties in the stakeholder sessions conducted on behalf of the North Carolina Utilities Commission,” said Harry Judd of the Accion Group, which independently administered the solicitation process.
The 12 projects represent the most competitive of the 40 conforming Proposals that were submitted. A total of 2,151 MW was bid. 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.
With the winning projects selected, Duke Energy and 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, expected to be released in October 2020.
Most projects are targeted to be online by the end of 2022. However, the dates may vary depending upon local approvals and any construction delays.
There were 9 projects selected from North Carolina and 2 projects from South Carolina for the DEC system. The project selected in DEP is located in South Carolina. There were no Duke Energy self-developed projects selected as finalists.