Charlotte City signs renewable power deal under Duke Energy’s GSA program


The City of Charlotte has executed a renewable power agreement under Duke Energy’s Green Source Advantage (GSA) program – expanding solar energy in North Carolina.

The 35-megawatt (MW) solar facility will be constructed in Iredell County. Under a 20-year power purchase agreement, Duke Energy will secure zero carbon power to partially offset the city of Charlotte’s energy demand.

The city will partner with Carolina Solar Energy, a North Carolina-based solar energy company, and Ecoplexus, an international solar energy company with offices in Durham, N.C., to build the solar farm, which is expected to be fully operational in 2022. The facility will be along Tomlin Mill Road near Statesville.

Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president, said: “We designed the program to be flexible and allow larger users to negotiate directly with third-party developers. It supports our customers’ goal and expands renewable energy in North Carolina.”

The GSA program is an outgrowth of 2017’s solar legislation in North Carolina. Programs such as solar rebates for customers and solar leasing were also part of that legislation. In 2015, Duke Energy’s pilot program for GSA – the Green Source Rider – had companies like Google and Cisco participate.

The GSA allows large customers to offset its power purchases by securing renewable energy from projects connected to the Duke Energy grid. The customer may keep the renewable energy certificates (RECs) from the projects and use the energy purchased to satisfy sustainability or carbon-free goals.

Overall, 600 MW of capacity is available under the Green Source Advantage program for large Duke Energy customers in North Carolina. Currently, Duke Energy maintains more than 3,300 MW of solar power on its energy grid in North Carolina and operates 40 solar facilities. North Carolina currently ranks No. 2 in the nation for overall solar power.