Duke Energy Progress seeks approval for 76 MW solar project in South Carolina


Utility Duke Energy Progress requested approval by the Public Service Commission of South Carolina to build and own a 76 MW solar project next to the existing Robinson Nuclear Plant site in Chesterfield and Darlington counties.

The project in development is planned for a 345 acre site, with construction slated for 2026 and commercial operations in 2027. The facility is expected to supply power to the quickly growing Pee Dee region of South Carolina.

Duke said it is using an “all-of-the-above” approach to energy generation, with a combination of solar, nuclear, natural gas, and hydroelectric sources.

The 76 MW project is expected to create about 200 construction jobs and support tax revenues for Chesterfield and Darlington counties.

The project is expected to take 12 months to construct.

The project will include a new 230 kV solar generation substation and a new 230 kV generation tie line spanning about 250 feet between the substation and the existing Darlington nuclear power plant’s point of interconnection.

During construction, about 175 vehicles will deliver solar panels by a planned access route to the site. Crews will grade the site, dig trenches for cables, dive steel piles into the ground and set equipment in place with heavy equipment. Duke warns that neighbors may hear construction noises as the crew performs work during daylight hours, and it will provide construction notifications to the surrounding area.

Duke Energy Progress has ten regulated utility-scale projects operational across the Carolinas. It has an additional seven projects in the development stage, and one project in western North Carolina, Woodfin, actively under construction.

Image: Duke Energy Progress

The utility said the Robinson site will include support of local pollinator plant species.

As of the end of 2023, South Carolina sourced about 3.29% of its electricity generation from solar. View the progress of solar and other emissions free sources of electricity across the U.S. in the 50 states of solar data browser from PV intel.

Mike Callahan, Duke Energy South Carolina state president, said the proposed Robinson Solar Center is part of “the thousands of megawatts of solar” that will help it achieve its low-carbon goals.

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