Duke Energy is venturing into solar power in a big way with plans to add up to 500MW of utility-scale solar in Florida by 2024.
"Innovative investments in solar energy will provide customers with more options to use this resource, while diversifying our energy mix and continuing to meet the needs of Florida's growing economy and population," said Alex Glenn, state president, Duke Energy Florida.
Construction of the first site – up to 5MW – will begin later this year with 35MW expected to be completed by 2018. These initial solar energy facilities will enable Duke Energy Florida to evaluate costs, and to monitor the effects of this resource on the electric grid infrastructure.
Over the past eight years, Duke Energy has invested more than $4 billion in wind and solar facilities in 12 states and this includes the company's Stanton Solar Farm located in Orange County. The company plans to invest $2 billion to $3 billion in renewable energy in the next five years.
"The University of South Florida in St. Petersburg has long enjoyed a partnership with Duke Energy, which shares our values around sustainability and has established itself as a leader in developing solar and renewable programs," said Jessica Blais, USFSP communications director. "We are excited that they will bring this expertise to others in Florida."