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Duke Energy Investing In Solar As Part Of Legal Settlement

solar panels

Photo: Brookhaven National Laboratory

Duke Energy is required to contract enough wind and solar energy to power about 15,000 homes.

Duke Energy is trying to line up contracts for solar energy production after it agreed in a legal settlement last year to add more green power.

Duke is required to contract 15 megawatts of wind and solar energy.

One megawatt is enough energy to power about 1,000 homes.

The company made an announcement this week, requesting proposals from businesses interested in supplying Duke with solar energy.

Duke Energy spokesperson Lew Middleton says sustainable energy is good for people, the planet, and profits.

“We are certainly devoted to providing for our customers energy that is safe, reliable, affordable, and increasingly clean,” he says. “As a public utility, Duke Energy has the responsibility to balance all four of those requirements.”

The company already has an agreement for 10 megawatts of power from Purdue University’s planned Tippecanoe County wind farm. The deadline to produce the green energy is December 2015.

Citizens Action Coalition Executive Director Kerwin Olson, has encouraged Duke Energy and other Indiana utilities to invest more in solar power. He says that although 15 megawatts is small in the context of Duke Energy’s portfolio, this is a step in the right direction.

“Not only for the obvious environmental advantages and improving our air and water quality and helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change, but also because solar is dropping dramatically in cost and is achieving a grid parody with coal, natural gas, and other fossil fuel resources,” he says.

Middleton says it is too soon to tell if customers’ rates will change.

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