Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions is expanding its solar energy portfolio by acquiring the 100-megawatt (MW) Wildflower Solar project from Clearway Energy Group. The solar project will generate enough energy to power approximately 21,000 homes.
Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions is a non-regulated commercial brand of Duke Energy.
The site, which is expected to begin full construction in late 2022 and achieve commercial operation in late 2023, is located in Desoto County, MS. It will be the first Mississippi-based renewable energy project for Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions.
Toyota North America has signed a 15-year virtual power purchase agreement for up to 80 MWs of the solar energy produced by the project. The agreement will financially settle on an as-generated basis tied to the project’s real-time energy output.
Wildflower Solar, which is located in proximity to Toyota’s manufacturing facility in Mississippi, will help the automotive manufacturer replace the high-emission electricity used in its operations with zero emissions renewable electricity on the grid. The move represents another major step towards Toyota’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality in its operations by 2035.
“We’re excited to continue to expand our commercial solar portfolio and enter into the Mississippi market, which will build upon the area’s clean energy resources,” said Chris Fallon, president of Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions. “Once complete, Wildflower Solar will further diversify Mississippi’s energy infrastructure while reducing Toyota’s emissions from its North American operations.”
”Our collective future depends on clean mobility, clean air, clean water and biodiversity,” said Kevin Butt, director of sustainability for Toyota Motor North America. “Renewable energy sources, like solar, are a key to achieving our goal of carbon neutrality, and our purchase from Wildflower alone has the potential to reduce Toyota’s carbon footprint in North America by as much as 8 percent.”
Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions will own and operate the project, which is expected to employ 300 at peak construction. Along with indirect economic benefits accompanying solar project development, such as increased local spending in the service and construction industries, the Wildflower Solar facility will also positively impact the local community by providing significant tax revenues for the Mississippi public schools.
As one of the nation’s top renewable energy providers, Duke Energy has more than 10,500 MW of solar and wind energy.
Image source: Courtesy of Duke Energy
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