Conventional power companies from South have not traditionally been seen as leaders in the move to renewable energy. But things are changing, and fast. With the notable exception of Entergy, most of the region’s large power companies – NextEra, Southern Company, Dominion and now Duke – have made significant moves into solar.
This week Duke Energy announced that its renewable energy division has acquired the 24.9 MW Shoreham Solar Commons project from Invenergy. The project is one of the largest in the state, and is located on a former golf course in Brookhaven, Long Island.
Shoreham Solar Commons holds a 20-year power contract with the Long Island Power Authority, and before the sale Invenergy closed on construction financing. The project is already under construction and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2018.
With 63rd solar assets and 20 wind farms, Duke Energy Renewables already has reached 2.9 GW of renewable energy assets in 14th states, not including those under construction. When Shoreham comes online, this will bring Duke to 15 states.
As a power company with both independent power producer and utility businesses, Duke has had a complicated relationship with solar. The company recently settled a long conflict with the solar industry over PURPA implementation in North Carolina, which resulted in a move away from avoided price for larger projects to an auction system.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that with Shoreham Duke would have solar and wind plants in 14 states. This was incorrect, as the figures provided earlier did not include projects under construction. We regret the error.