With the completion of a new 74.9-megawatt (MW) solar facility in Hardee County, Duke Energy reached a significant milestone – it has delivered on its commitment to provide 700 MW of clean energy to Florida customers.

The Charlie Creek Solar Power Plant is the last of 10 solar sites that are part of the company’s multiyear plan on file with the Florida Public Service Commission to deliver 700 MW of solar generation from 2018 through 2022.

Elected officials and community leaders joined Duke Energy today at a commemorative ribbon cutting and solar panel signing ceremony at 10:30 a.m. to celebrate this significant milestone and grand opening of the new site.

“Today, we are delivering on our promise to build a cleaner, brighter energy future for our customers,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. “By 2024, we plan to provide 1,500 MW of solar generation as part of our ongoing strategy to offer cleaner, smarter energy solutions that will benefit all Florida customers.”

In addition to carbon reduction and the benefits of creating a diverse energy infrastructure, solar development fosters economic development and job creation in the areas that Duke Energy serves. The projects brought nearly 2,400 temporary construction jobs to the area during construction.

All 10 solar facilities are located throughout Florida, south of Highlands County and north of Hamilton County. At peak output, the sites will generate enough energy to effectively offset the carbon emissions that would be equivalent to consuming about 140 million gallons of gasoline every year.

The 10 solar power plants under this commitment include:

  • Hamilton (completed December 2018) in Hamilton County. 
  • Trenton (completed December 2019) in Gilchrist County. 
  • Columbia (completed March 2020) in Columbia County. 
  • DeBary (completed June 2020) in Volusia County. 
  • Twin Rivers (completed March 2021) in Hamilton County. 
  • Santa Fe (completed March 2021) in Columbia County. 
  • Duette (completed November 2021) in Manatee County.
  • Lake Placid (completed December 2021) in Highlands County. 
  • Sandy Creek (completed May 2022) in Bay County. 
  • Charlie Creek (completed August 2022) in Hardee County.

Solar generation commitment

With a combined investment of more than $2 billion, Duke Energy Florida’s solar generation portfolio will include 25 grid-tied solar power plants, benefit all Florida customers, and provide about 1,500 MW of emission-free generation from approximately 5 million solar panels by 2024.

Over the next decade, the company will continue to make innovative and targeted investments in additional solar power plants, battery storage technology, community solar, transportation electrification and a modernised power grid to help meet customers’ needs for diverse, reliable energy solutions.

Source: https://www.duke-energy.com/
Image source: Courtesy of Duke Energy

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