Duke Energy: Plans approved to build first solar project in Rowan County, N.C.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Duke Energy announced its third solar project to be built in 2016, with the 6-megawatt Woodleaf Solar Facility slated for Rowan County, N.C.
"We see 2016 shaping up to be active year for Duke Energy-owned solar projects," said Rob Caldwell, senior vice president, Distributed Energy Resources. "Our customers want us to actively pursue renewable energy, and we are delivering on that desire."
Today, Duke Energy filed with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) on a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) – needed for the plant to be built. CPCN's were filed earlier for projects in Davie and Union counties.
"We appreciate Duke Energy's continued investment in Rowan County with theWoodleaf project," said Greg Edds, chairman of the Rowan County Commissioners. "Duke Energy has made significant investments in the community to meet the energy needs of the region and we look forward to a continuing partnership with them inRowan County."
The Woodleaf Solar Facility will be located near the intersection of Highway 801 and Old U.S. Highway 70 in the community of Woodleaf in Rowan County. It will occupy roughly 50 acres of land already owned by Duke Energy.
If approved by the NCUC, the project will begin construction in the second quarter of 2016, with completion targeted for the end of the year.
The project will be owned and operated by Duke Energy Carolinas and will help meetNorth Carolina's Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard.
Duke Energy continues to invest heavily in solar energy in North Carolina as part of its effort to deliver increasingly clean energy to its customers. The company is about to complete 141 megawatts of projects announced in 2015 – in Bladen, Duplin, Onslowand Wilson counties.
For 2016, Duke Energy utilities have announced 81 megawatts of planned solar power – already more than 50 percent of what was done in 2015. This aggressive expansion by Duke Energy companies has led North Carolina to be ranked fourth nationally for overall installed solar.
Over the past eight years, Duke Energy, through its regulated and commercial businesses, has invested more than $4 billion in solar and wind across the country. The company plans to invest about $3 billion in renewable energy over the next five years.
As a point of reference, one megawatt of large-scale solar is equivalent to about 200 typical residential rooftop systems. The number varies by state and conditions.
6-megawatt (AC) solar facility to be built in Woodleaf community near Salisbury
Third proposed solar project for 2016 announced by company
Project to be online by the end of 2016
Source: Duke Energy Website - www.duke-energy.com
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.