Duke Energy, a U.S.-based electric power holding company, has begun construction on the 50 MW Broad River Solar power plant in Cleveland County, N.C.
The project will be owned and operated by Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial subsidiary of Duke Energy. The project was selected as part of the competitive bidding process established by 2017’s solar legislation. The power plant will contain more than 170,000 solar panels across approximately 500 acres near Boiling Springs. It is expected to reach commercial operation by the end of 2021.
“Solar power continues to play a big role in our aggressive pursuit to reduce carbon emissions and achieve our net-zero carbon goal for 2050,” says Stephen De May, president of Duke Energy North Carolina. “We’ll continue to deliver renewable energy by building and purchasing more carbon-free power for our customers.”
Under North Carolina’s Competitive Procurement for Renewable Energy, proposed projects must be built where there is a need for energy capacity on the Duke Energy system in North Carolina or South Carolina. The bids can come from any company, including Duke Energy, and can be in the form of power purchase agreements (PPA), utility self-developed facilities or utility asset acquisitions.
During peak construction, Broad River Solar will generate approximately 120 jobs. Along with indirect economic benefits that accompany solar project development, such as increased local spending in the service and construction industries, Broad River Solar will also have a positive economic impact on the local community by providing local tax revenues to the county and local school districts, as well as meaningful payments to the participating landowners.
The facility’s design, procurement of inverters, balance of plant systems and construction of the project will be performed by Swinerton. The solar power generated by Broad River Solar will be sold through a 20-year power purchase agreement.