Aiming to give non-residential customers another option to install solar on their premises, Duke Energy recently filed to be a certified solar lessor with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC).
Duke Energy Clean Energy Resources (DECER), a non-regulated affiliate of Duke Energy, seeks to build, own and operate on-site solar facilities that would allow customers to access renewable energy without a large upfront investment. DECER is not financially supported by either Duke Energy Carolinas or Duke Energy Progress, Duke Energy’s operating companies in the Carolinas.
“Customers want more solar power for their operations, but the large upfront investment can be an obstacle,” says Rob Caldwell, president of Duke Energy renewables and distributed energy technology. “Through DECER, we will be competing to provide customers a turnkey solar solution to meet their renewable energy goals while managing the ongoing operations and maintenance of the facility.”
Caldwell adds that DECER will target businesses and will use mainly local solar construction and maintenance companies to work on projects.
The company notes that residential, commercial and nonprofit customers can still use Duke Energy’s $62 million solar rebate program, which has four years remaining.
Under DECER’s offering, companies can negotiate for solar facilities up to 1 MW of capacity, and the agreement will have a term of up to 20 years. Customers will be able to use 100% of the electrical output of the facilities and be eligible for any rebates and net metering options offered by Duke Energy. DECER will handle all maintenance of the projects.
According to the company, the ability to offer such services was included in last year’s Competitive Energy Solutions for North Carolina law, also known as H.B.589.
Duke Energy must first receive approval from the NCUC. Complete details of the NCUC filing can be found here. Duke Energy can already offer these services in South Carolina.