Duke Energy gets green light for Woodfin solar plant, North Carolina

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Duke Energy has received the green light for a 5MW solar plant in Woodfin, North Carolina. The North Carolina utility commission gave approval for construction to begin on the project that will consist of approximately 5 MW alternating current/6.3 MW direct current solar PV capacity. The Woodfin Solar facility will be constructed with a 20-degree fixed-tilt racking along with electrical protection and switching equipment. The plant will also include solar inverters and step-up transformers in addition to circuit breakers, disconnect switches, surge arrestors, and connection cabling. The Woodfin Solar plant is projected to produce more than 9,413 MWh per year. Along with a yielding capacity factor of 21.5%, the service life of the site is expected to be 25 years.

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The plant will be interconnected to a single Duke Energy-owned 24 kV distribution feeder that goes into the companies plan to charge solar customers market rate for the energy they generate if the state utility regulators approve of a new tariff. The North Carolina utility commission would purchase excess energy for about 25% less than its market price. Buncombe County will allow Duke Energy to use the 1996 retired landfill property at no cost in exchange for getting the renewable energy certificates (RECs) from the Woodfin solar park to contribute towards its 100% renewable energy goal.

“The people of Buncombe County recognize climate protection as one of the most urgent issues facing our world today,” said County Board of Commission Chairman Brownie Newman. “The solar landfill project is an important part of our initial strategy to accelerate the transition to clean, renewable energy. We are excited to see it move forward.” The facility is expected to go online by the end of 2021 and will produce enough power yearly to power about 1,000 homes and businesses.

“This innovative project enjoyed great stakeholder and local support and will continue the growth of renewable energy in North Carolina,” said  Duke Energy’s North Carolina president, Stephen De May.