Duke Energy buys Pflugerville Solar project from Recurrent Energy

DUKE ENERGY

Duke Energy Renewables said it is acquiring the 144-megawatt (MWac) Pflugerville Solar project from Recurrent Energy, a subsidiary of Canadian Solar.

The project is under construction in Travis County, Texas, and is expected to achieve commercial operation in mid-2021. The energy generated from the Pflugerville Solar project will be sold to Austin Energy under a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

This is the fifth utility-scale project that Duke Energy Renewables has acquired from Recurrent Energy, including the Rambler Solar project in Texas, which reached commercial operation in 2020.

Recurrent Energy has more than 5,700 MWac of solar projects under construction and in development and more than 1,045 MW / 4,180 MWh of energy storage projects under development in the United States.

Austin Energy, the City of Austin’s electric utility, serves more than 500,000 customer accounts and more than one million residents in Greater Austin.

This PPA supports Austin Energy’s goal of achieving at least 55 percent renewable energy by 2025, and 65 percent renewable energy by the end of 2027. The project also supports Duke Energy’s goals of doubling its renewable energy resources by the end of 2025.

“We currently meet 63 percent of our customers’ energy needs with carbon-free resources,” said Austin Energy general manager Jackie Sargent. “Adding the Pflugerville Solar project to our portfolio will bring us closer to meeting our affordability and climate protection goals adopted by the Austin City Council and championed by our customers.”

The 144-MWac Pflugerville Solar project will generate enough energy to power approximately 27,000 homes. The power plant will utilize approximately 489,600 pieces of Canadian Solar’s high-efficiency bifacial BiKu modules across 932 acres in Travis County, Texas. The engineering and construction for the project are being performed by Signal Energy.

Recurrent Energy closed debt and tax equity financing totaling over $234 million in August to support the construction of the project. The tax equity financing was provided by U.S. Bank and the debt financing was provided by a bank club led by CIT Bank, which included Norddeutsche Landesbank, Rabobank, and Zions Bank.

Duke Energy Renewables will provide the long-term operations and maintenance services to the project.

The project is expected to employ 350 workers at peak construction, with at least 50 percent of those construction jobs expected to be filled by local skilled tradesmen from the Travis County area.

Duke Energy plans to double its enterprise wide renewable portfolio from 8 GW to 16 GW by the end of 2025.