Duke to use First Solar panels for 105 MW N Carolina projects
Sep 22, 2014 - US utility Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:DUK) said Monday it will use solar panels made by First Solar Inc (NASDAQ:FSLR) for 105 MW of solar projects in North Carolina.
Just a week ago Duke announced that it would acquire and build 128 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants in the state. Two of them -- the 65-MW Warsaw and the 40-MW Elm City projects -- will use First Solar technology. The other 23-MW solar project in Bladen County will be equipped by Chinese PV maker Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd (NYSE:YGE), also known as Yingli Solar.
In today’s statement, Duke Energy said it plans to start construction at the three sites early next year, subject to the North Carolina Utilities Commission’s (NCUC) approval. It expects to create as many as 750 construction jobs in the state.
Apart from First Solar panels, the Warsaw solar project will also use US-made inverters by German solar inverter maker SMA Solar Technology AG (ETR:S92). Chapel Hill-based Strata Solar has been selected as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor. For the Elm City park, Duke Energy is betting on First Solar’s Series-4 thin-film solar panels and SMA inverters, again. First Solar will also take care of the EPC works. The Yingli-powered 23-MW park, on the other hand, will have Arizona-based Phoenix Solar in charge of the EPC.
Apart from buying the three solar projects, Duke Energy also struck five power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 150 MW of additional solar capacity in North Carolina. It said last week that the power off-take deals and the power plant investments represent a total commitment of USD 500 million (EUR 389m).