North Carolina Customers Increasingly Returning to the Sun
Solar power continued to grow in North Carolina in 2020, and Duke Energy customers are using more solar power than ever before.
Approximately 5,500 Duke Energy customers installed private solar power systems for their homes and businesses in 2020, managed by the company’s five-year $ 62 million solar discount program that helps cover the significant upfront costs of solar systems. Today, more than 18,000 Duke Energy customers have a dedicated solar power system. Almost 60% of the company’s production in Carolinas is carbon-free, and nuclear, solar and hydroelectric energy are the leading sources of carbon-free production.
“Our customers want more renewable energy and Duke Energy is making it a reality for them,” says Stephen De May, president of Duke Energy North Carolina. “We are also connecting large-scale solar power plants owned and operated by Duke Energy and other developers.”
Duke Energy has connected approximately 350 MW of solar capacity in 2020. Major projects in 2020 include Duke Energy’s 69 MW Maiden Creek solar plant in Catawba County and a 25 MW Gaston County solar plant in Bessemer City.
Duke Energy owns and operates more than 40 solar power plants in North Carolina. The state is a national leader for solar energy, following only California and Texas in the amount of solar energy produced. Overall, Duke Energy has more than 3,700 MW of solar power connected to the state’s power grid.
The outlook for future solar energy in North Carolina looks promising. In 2020, Duke Energy and most of the major solar industry developers in Carolinas agreed on a defined process and timeline that will connect significant amounts of new solar power generation to the company’s distribution system.
Duke Energy helped large customers switch to solar power in 2020 with its Green Resource Advantage program. Charlotte, Bank of America and Duke University are pursuing new solar projects as part of the company’s program that allows large energy users to negotiate independent solar projects directly with solar developers.