Duke Energy Completes Duette Solar Facility

Duke Expands Its Solar Energy Capacity In The Sunshine State

A Duke Energy-Operated Solar Farm In Kentucky (Image Courtesy Of Duke Energy)

Duke Energy Florida’s Duette Solar Power Plant is now operational, delivering on the company’s commitment to expand its clean energy portfolio statewide.

With a combined investment of more than US$2 billion, Duke Energy Florida’s solar generation portfolio will include 25 grid-tied solar power plants that will benefit all of the company’s 1.9 million Florida customers. These projects will provide about 1,500 MW of emission-free generation using approximately 5 million solar panels by 2024.

“Customers want us to provide more renewable and clean energy. As another solar site goes into operation, we’re delivering on that promise,” said Duke Energy Florida State President Melissa Seixas. “These investments will allow Florida customers to enjoy an energy system that is increasingly resilient and provides cleaner energy to everyone in our service area.”

The Duette facility was built on approximately 520 acres (210 ha) in Manatee County, Florida, and was placed in service on October 25, 2021, which was more than seven weeks ahead of its scheduled completion date. It is part of Duke Energy Florida’s US$1 billion investment to provide customers with 700 MW of clean energy by 2022.

The 74.5-MW facility consists of approximately 227,000 single-axis tracking solar panels, capable of producing enough electricity to power approximately 23,000 homes at peak production annually. The company is well on its way to a major milestone of completing 10 new solar projects by 2022. Eight of those facilities are now in service, while the remaining two are under construction.

The Charlie Creek Solar Power Plant site began construction on 610 acres (247 ha) in Hardee County, Florida. The 74.9-MW facility will consist of approximately 235,000 single-axis tracking solar panels capable of producing enough electricity to power approximately 23,000 homes at peak production annually.

The Sandy Creek Solar Power Plant is being built on 625 acres (253 ha) in Bay County, Florida. As the county’s first solar power plant, the facility will bring 74.9 MW of clean energy to the area and consist of approximately 220,000 single-axis tracking solar panels. The Sandy Creek Solar Power Plant is expected to be completed by spring 2022. The company’s eight solar power plants already in service eliminate more than 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions each year.

Further, the company announced an additional 750 MW of solar generation this year to be completed between 2022 through 2024. This represents another US$1 billion investment and the addition of 10 new solar sites. The location of six sites has been announced, with another four sites to be selected in 2022. Through reduction in the use of fossil fuels, these 10 projects are projected to lower the emission of global warming gases such as CO2 at an average rate of more than 700,000 tons per year.

Energy Storage Systems

By 2022, Duke Energy is expected to have six battery sites in operation in Florida, totaling more than 50 MW of energy storage. Five of the six sites are expected to be complete by the end of 2021. Duke Energy’s energy storage plays a significant and evolving role in how energy is delivered to customers now and in the future. Through energy storage and microgrids, the company can enable the integration of more renewables onto the grid and help improve reliability and security while keeping costs affordable for customers.

Electric Vehicle Charging

Duke Energy launched the Park & Plug pilot program in 2018 to expand access to electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Since that time, approximately 600 EV chargers have been added to public spaces and thoroughfares in Florida. The DC Fast Chargers are in strategic locations connecting major and key secondary corridors and evacuation routes in Florida. This creates critical infrastructure needed for EV adoption and helps reduce range anxiety.