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Duke Energy Launches Program To Lease Solar Panels

Image of solar panel in field

Indiana installed the most megawatts of solar in the state’s history last year, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. (WFIU/WTIU News)

Last week, Duke Energy announced a program to lease solar panels to businesses, nonprofits and schools.

According to the Environmental Working Group, the energy company has focused primarily on coal and natural gas in the past.

Lew Middleton is a spokesman for Duke Energy. He says this leasing program makes solar energy more available to organizations who may not be able to afford it otherwise.

“By offering them the opportunity to lease the solar equipment from us, that means that we, Duke Energy would own and operate the equipment, maintain it as well,” he says.

Kerwin Olson is the executive director at the Citizen Action Coalition. His organization reviewed Duke Energy’s case to create the solar leasing program.

He says he was not surprised to see Duke offer a solar leasing program, since there is a large market for it.

Olson says only Duke will be allowed to lease panels to customers in their territory.

“We would like to see the state of Indiana open up the entire state to competition and third party providers who would like to also offer solar leases utility customers,” Olson says. 

The leases have a 20 year maximum.

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