Duke Energy Renewables, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, is expanding its solar energy portfolio by acquiring the 144-MWac Pflugerville Solar project from Recurrent Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Solar Inc.
The project is under construction in Travis County, Texas, US, 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.
Austin Energy, the City of Austin’s electric utility, serves more than 500 000 customer accounts and more than 1 million residents in Greater Austin. This PPA supports Austin Energy’s goal of achieving at least 55% renewable energy by 2025, and 65% 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.
The 144-MWac Pflugerville Solar project will generate enough energy to power approximately 27 000 homes. The power plant will utilise approximately 489 600 pieces of Canadian Solar's high-efficiency bifacial BiKu modules across 932 acres in Travis County, Texas, US. The engineering and construction for the project are being performed by Signal Energy. To support the construction of the project, in August, Recurrent Energy closed debt and tax equity financing totalling over US$234 million. 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% of those construction jobs expected to be filled by local skilled tradesmen from the Travis County area. Along with indirect economic benefits that accompany solar project development, such as increased local spending in the service and construction industries, Pflugerville Solar will also have a positive economic impact on the local community by providing significant tax revenues for Travis County and the Elgin Independent School District.
Duke Energy plans to double its enterprise wide renewable portfolio from 8 GW to 16 GW by the end of 2025.
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Read the article online at: https://www.energyglobal.com/solar/08012021/duke-energy-renewables-acquires-texas-solar-project/