Duke Energy Renewables, a subsidiary of Charlotte-based Duke Energy, is seeking a permit for the largest solar farm proposed in North Carolina to date, and the first to break the 80-megawatt barrier.
Duke’s solar farm, measuring exactly 80 megawatts in capacity, is planned in the town of Moyock in coastal Currituck County. It’s scheduled to be completed and in operation by Dec. 31, according to a filing with the N.C. Utilities Commission.
It’s one of a number of filings for ever-larger solar farms in the state. The past week has seen applications for a pair of solar farms, each with a capacity of 74.9 megawatts, in Northampton County on the Virginia border. The proposals were filed March 27 and March 30 by Pecan Solar and Johannes Gutenberg Solar, both based in Charlotte and listing the same executives.
In addition, Principal Solar is developing a 78.5-megawatt project in Hope Mills and a 72.9-megawatt project near Fayetteville.
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An application is no guarantee the project will be built, but the increasing size of the projects is noteworthy in North Carolina, a state that had no solar industry to speak of seven years ago and today ranks fourth in the country for total solar energy development.
Duke Energy Renewables has already developed 200 megawatts of solar and 1,600 megawatts of wind power across the country. The subsidiary would likely sell its solar power output from the Currituck County solar farm to Dominion North Carolina Power, or to retail customers in deregulated states, or to PJM, a regional transmission organization that coordinates wholesale electricity sales in 13 states and the District of Columbia.