Duke University is the first academic institution to come to terms on a renewable power contract under Duke Energy’s Green Source Advantage (GSA) program. GSA was established by the utility as a way to allow large-scale customers to offset power purchases by securing renewable energy from projects connected to the Duke Energy grid.
Under the terms of the deal, Duke University will purchase roughly 101 MW of solar capacity from three solar facilities in North Carolina. The subsequent power, combined with existing and planned efforts, is projected to result in a 69% reduction in the university’s carbon emissions by 2022 and a 73% reduction in carbon emissions by 2024, based on a 2007 baseline. The deal also represents a significant step towards the university’s Climate Action Plan, which was updated in 2019 with a goal of reducing on-campus emissions 84% by 2024, with the remaining emissions reduced to zero through investment in carbon offsets.
The 101 MW will also meet 50% of Duke University’s annual electricity demand.
The three projects have not yet been completed and are being developed by Pine Gate Renewables, in partnership with Silver Pine Energy Holdings. All three are expected to be completed and on-line by 2022.
GSA filling up fast
This deal marks the third high-level partner to come to terms with Duke on a Green Source Advantage contract this year, with the City of Charlotte set to buy the output from a 35-MW facility in Iredell County and Bank of America purchasing power from a 25-MW facility planned by Silver Pine Energy Holdings.
Like the three planned projects for Duke, these other two GSA installations are expected to hit commercial operation in 2022.
Duke’s GSA will be available until the total capacity of 600 MW is fully subscribed, however only roughly 30 MW remain available to eligible customers. Of the initial 600 MW capacity, 100 MW were set aside for military installations and 250 MW were set aside for University of North Carolina institutions, in order to comply with North Carolina’s Competitive Energy Solutions law. Of the remaining 250 MW, 160 MW were made available for Duke Energy Carolinas, with the last 90 MW going to Duke Energy Progress.
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