Duke begins construction on fourth major solar facility in N.C.

 Duke begins construction on fourth major solar facility in N.C.

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) has begun construction on a new solar facility at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Onslow County, N.C. The 13-megawatt (MW) project is Duke Energy's first solar facility at a military base. Covering 100 acres, the facility is the largest solar installation on a military base in North Carolina. It will be owned and operated by Duke Energy Progress and is expected to be online in 2015.

"This collaborative endeavor allows us to bring our years of experience in managing, operating and integrating energy resources on the grid, while allowing the Marines to focus on their missions of training and service,” said Rob Caldwell, Duke Energy’s senior vice president for distributed energy resources.

The project will enable the Department of the Navy and U.S. Marine Corps to meet critical renewable energy and energy security goals.

In addition to the Camp Lejeune project, Duke Energy is underway on a $500 million solar expansion in N.C. The company is currently building three solar facilities in Bladen, Duplin, and Wilson counties, which are expected to be operating by the end of the year, and will have a total capacity of 128 MW.

The company is also partnering with solar developers to purchase the electricity output from other solar facilities planned in the state.

Crowder Construction Services, based in Charlotte, is serving as the engineering, procurement, and construction contractor. The project will use approximately 54,000 monocrystalline solar panels supplied by SolarWorld Americas. GE’s Power Conversion business will supply its Brilliance inverters, which will be built out of its Pittsburgh facility.

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