Wells Fargo joins Duke Energy’s GSA program with solar buy

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Wells Fargo has become the latest large energy customer to come to terms on a renewable power agreement under Duke Energy’s Green Source Advantage (GSA) program. The bank  is set to buy more than 58 MW of solar capacity from the Blackburn Solar project in North Carolina.

Blackburn is a 60 MW installation planned on 600 acres in Catawba County north of Charlotte It will be developed, owned, and operated by a unit of NextEra Energy Resources, and is scheduled to come online as early as 2022.

The power generated will offset about 50% of the bank’s energy usage in the state and will supply around 8% of the company’s annual global electricity.

Since 2017, Wells Fargo has met all of its annual global electricity requirements with renewable energy, primarily through the purchase of renewable energy credits, satisfying the first part of a two-pronged 2020 renewable energy goal set in 2016. The second part of that commitment, an effort to move to a higher mix of long-term renewable energy contracts for projects near its largest load centers while also expanding onsite solar generation, is currently underway.

In March, Wells Fargo announced its goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, including its financed emissions.

Duke has had consistent success with GSA in North Carolina. Wells Fargo marks the fourth large-scale renewable energy buyer, along with Duke University, the City of Charlotte, and Bank of America. Those four customers represent 219 MW of the North Carolina GSA’s 600 MW capacity.

The utility recently expanded the program to South Carolina, following approval from the state’s Public Service Commission. This program is smaller, totaling 200 MW in capacity. It sets aside 35 MW for local government and university customers for nine months, with the remaining 165 MW reserved for large non-residential customers. This capacity is further divided into 125 MW for Duke Energy Carolinas and 40 MW for Duke Energy Progress.

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