Duke Energy begins construction on 22.6-megawatt Cabarrus County, N.C., solar project

-- Newest solar project selected through rigorous competitive bidding process in N.C.

CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Expanding its rapidly growing clean-energy portfolio, Duke Energy has begun construction on the 22.6-MW Speedway Solar power plant in Cabarrus County.

Duke Energy, the nation's largest electric utility, unveils its new logo. (PRNewsFoto/Duke Energy) (PRNewsfoto/Duke Energy)

The project will be owned and operated by Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions, a new commercial brand that includes Duke Energy Renewables. The project was selected as part of the competitive bidding process established by 2017's landmark solar legislation in North Carolina.

The power plant will contain about 77,000 Jinko bifacial modules with single-axis tracking. The plant will be located on 185 acres in Midland, N.C. – near the corner of Wallace Road and Bethel Avenue Extension. The facility will power the equivalent of 5,000 homes. It is targeting commercial operation by the end of 2021.

"Duke Energy is making an aggressive push to expand renewable energy, reduce carbon emissions and achieve a net-zero carbon goal for 2050," said Stephen De May, Duke Energy's North Carolina president. "An expansion of solar power will be a key element of that effort."

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.

"We're pleased to be able to add more clean energy resources to the state. This facility will not only address the increasing clean energy needs of our communities but will also deliver significant economic benefits to Cabarrus County," said Chris Fallon, president of Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions.

During peak construction, Speedway Solar will employ about 70 workers. Along with indirect economic benefits that accompany solar project development, such as increased local spending in the service and construction industries, Speedway 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.

Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions also supports the communities where its facilities and team members are based through the efforts of the Duke Energy Foundation, which awarded a $5,000 grant to the Cabarrus County Education Foundation to increase internet connectivity for students in Midland and Mt. Pleasant, N.C.

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 Speedway Solar will be delivered through a 20-year power purchase agreement.

A leader in renewable energy

Duke Energy maintains more than 3,700 MW of solar power on its energy grid in North Carolina, which could power about 700,000 homes and businesses at peak output. The company also operates more than 40 solar facilities in the state. North Carolina currently ranks No. 3 in the nation for overall solar power. With nuclear, hydro and renewable energy, more than half of North Carolina's energy mix is carbon-free.

As one of the nation's top renewable energy providers, Duke Energy's plans to double its enterprise wide renewable portfolio from 8 gigawatts (GW) of capacity to 16 GW by the end of 2025.

Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions

Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions is a nonregulated commercial brand of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) – a Fortune 150 company and one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. – headquartered in Charlotte, N.C.

Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions is a leader in sustainable energy, helping large enterprises reduce power costs, lower emissions and increase resiliency. The team provides wind, solar, resilient backup power and managed energy services to over 1,000 projects across the U.S., with a total electric capacity of more than 5,100 megawatts of nonregulated renewable energy. Visit Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions and follow on LinkedIn and YouTube for more information.

Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter energy future for its customers and communities – with goals of at least a 50 percent carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is a top U.S. renewable energy provider, on track to operate or purchase 16,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2025. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking Statements.

This document includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements are based on management's beliefs and assumptions. These forward-looking statements are identified by terms and phrases such as "anticipate," "believe," "intend," "estimate," "expect," "continue," "should," "could," "may," "plan," "project," "predict," "will," "potential," "forecast," "target," "outlook," "guidance," and similar expressions. Various factors may cause actual results to be materially different than the suggested outcomes within forward-looking statements; accordingly, there is no assurance that such results will be realized. These risks and uncertainties are identified and discussed in Duke Energy's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and available at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the events described in the forward-looking statements might not occur or might occur to a different extent or at a different time than Duke Energy has described. Duke Energy expressly disclaims an obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Contact: Randy Wheeless
24-Hour: 800.559.3853
Twitter: @DE_RandyW

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SOURCE Duke Energy

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