As per a recent announcement, it has been confirmed that Duke Energy Corp. (NASDAQ:DUK) has plans for installing around 500 megawatts of solar power during the upcoming decade in Florida. With this, the amount that is currently installed now in the state will be doubled.
This announcement is a coalition and seeks to allow the owners of property as well as businesses in Florida to sell some amount of solar energy. Further step has been taken for getting the proposal on ballot for the year 2016.
Stephen Smith, who is a member of Solar Choice coalition stated on Friday that they welcomed the announcement but the response was underwhelming. Duke Energy, Florida’s spokesperson stated that the plans of amendment and utility proposed by the coalition weren’t related.
Currently, over 1.7 million customers are being served in some sections of Panhandle and Central Florida. It expects that the 1st solar energy of 5 megawatts would be added before 2015 ends. Another 30 megawatts is expected to be ready by 2018. As per a statement by Duke, the energy mix of the company would be diversified and customers would be provided with additional options for using renewable energy. The new locations of solar facilities weren’t ready and don’t have costs tied to the program.
In a statement, Duke stated that facilities for solar energy would be complementing its plans for plant with natural gas in the Citrus County in Florida. Along with it, there would be upgraded at Polk County Plant and owing to this, company can meet a significant need for more generation that would start in the year 2018 and would retire 50 percent of coal-fired feet in Florida by the year 2018.
For many years, Duke Energy Florida has advanced solar technology in its service area, including:
- Partnering with the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg to fund a $1 million solar photovoltaic (PV) installation that integrates a battery storage system on the school’s campus.
- Funding more than $8 million to assist residential and commercial customers who installed approximately 2,000 of their own solar PV systems.
- Funding more than $7 million in solar PV system installations at approximately 50 K-12 schools to help foster renewable energy education. Some of these schools also serve as emergency shelters.
- Establishing a new Solar Service Center to safely and reliably integrate about 20 megawatts of rooftop solar owned by Duke Energy Florida’s customers on the electric grid.
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