Duke Energy’s Largest Solar Power Plant Begins Commercial Operations

250-MW plant now online in Navarro County, Texas. Large Solar Field.

(Credit: Duke Energy)

by | Mar 12, 2023

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250-MW plant now online in Navarro County, Texas. Large Solar Field.

(Credit: Duke Energy)

Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions (DESS), a subsidiary of Duke Energy, has announced the successful operation of its largest solar power plant, located in Navarro County, Texas. The Pisgah Ridge Solar project has a capacity of 250 MW and will help DESS expand its renewable energy resources while offering sustainable solutions to commercial customers.

Charles River Laboratories International, a leading provider of research tools and integrated support services for drug discovery and development, has signed a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) for 102 MW of the Pisgah Ridge Solar project’s capacity over the next 15 years. The VPPA will cover the company’s North American electric power load with clean, renewable energy by 2023. This project will help it achieve its global goal of sourcing 100% of its electricity needs through renewable sources by 2030.

Meijer, a Midwest retailer, has also signed a 15-year VPPA agreement for 83 MW of solar energy generated by the project. Together with one other company, these three VPPAs account for more than 90% of the facility’s output. All three VPPAs will settle on an as-generated basis tied to the project’s real-time energy output.

Erik Petrovskis, director of environmental compliance and sustainability at Meijer, said that the project with DESS puts the company on the right path to making an even bigger impact in reducing its carbon emissions. The project is expected to have a positive economic impact on the local community by providing significant tax revenues for the Corsicana Independent School District, in addition to indirect economic benefits such as increased local spending in the service and construction industries.

Chris Fallon, president of Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions, said that they are excited to continue to grow their Texas solar portfolio and offer unique sustainability solutions for commercial customers. DESS’s Pisgah Ridge Solar project is a significant step towards achieving its goal of increasing renewable energy resources and contributing to a sustainable future.

Duke Energy’s Commitment to Battery Storage & Community Initiatives 

DESS will own and operate the Pisgah Ridge Solar project, while engineering and construction were performed by Moss. The project employed around 300 workers at peak construction. DESS currently operates nearly 1,500 MW of wind, 750 MW of solar, and a 36-MW battery storage facility in Texas.

Furthermore, DESS has demonstrated its commitment to helping the local community by giving the city of Richland, Texas, a $50,000 grant to support the revitalization of Richland Community Park. The Duke Energy Foundation also awarded two grants totaling $37,000 to the Richland Volunteer Fire Department to help maintain the critical safety services it provides to local businesses and residents in Richland and surrounding Navarro County.

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