A solar energy facility at Toray Resin Company’s Shelbyville campus has begun operations. The new facility, from Duke Energy Indiana, can generate up to 900 kilowatts of electricity to help power the plastics manufacturer’s operations while offsetting carbon emissions.
The solar project is the first to come from a Duke Energy pilot program that aims to make it easier for businesses, schools and nonprofits to incorporate renewable energy sources into their energy mix.
Under Duke Energy’s solar services pilot program, eligible Indiana customers can lease an on-site solar system for a period of up to 20 years. Duke Energy installs, operates, owns and maintains the system, while customers receive all of the kilowatt-hour (kWh) and solar renewable energy credit (SREC) output. Initial program capacity is limited to a total of 10 megawatts (MW) for eligible commercial and industrial customers within the Duke Energy Indiana service territory.
Duke Energy will own, operate and maintain the Blue River Solar Facility on Toray Resin’s Shelbyville campus for a monthly service fee. The program provides Toray Resin with the advantages of clean energy to help power their operations, while minimizing upfront costs and maintenance obligations.
Construction on the 8-acre, ground-mounted solar project began in October 2021. The facility consists of 2,487 solar panels and is located on the east side of Toray Resin’s campus.
Duke Energy also provides virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs) — renewable energy contracts that do not involve the physical delivery of energy from the vendor to the customer.
Last year, Charles River Laboratories International, a provider of research tools and support services for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, signed a long-term solar energy, 102 megawatt VPPA with Duke that will generate about 250,0000 MWh of clean energy each year. The Pisgah Ridge Solar project, located in Navarro County, Texas, will be the largest utility-scale solar facility in Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions’ fleet when it becomes fully operational this year, the company says.