July 13, 2020 Read More →

Duke’s Florida utility looks to add 750MW of new solar in the state by 2024

WLRN:

Four months after Florida Power & Light received approval for a similar program, Duke Energy Florida is asking regulators to sign off on a $1 billion plan that would add 10 solar-power plants in the state.

Duke filed a proposal last week at the state Public Service Commission for what it has dubbed the “Clean Energy Connection” program, which would start operating two of the proposed plants in January 2022, four in January 2023 and four in January 2024.

The plan comes amid a broader push by major utilities in Florida to expand the use of solar energy, as solar has become more cost-efficient and as utilities look to reduce carbon emissions.

But the Duke plan and the FPL program approved in March are different from other solar projects because of their financial structures. Under the Duke program, customers would be able to voluntarily pay more on their electric bills to help finance the projects and would receive credits that would result in them getting a “payback” in about seven years. Duke said the program would respond to customers who want to help boost renewable energy and might not want to have rooftop solar panels.

The plan calls for building 10 74.9-megawatt solar plants, with each costing slightly more than $100 million. The filing said Duke has not chosen sites for the plants.

The Public Service Commission in March approved FPL’s “SolarTogether” program, which is similar to the Duke proposal but is expected to add 20 solar plants. The SolarTogether proposal, however, drew opposition from the state Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers in utility issues.

[Jim Saunders]

More: Duke seeks approval of major solar expansion

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