Charlotte will build a 300-acre solar farm off Tomlin Mill Road to fulfill a renewable energy agreement with Duke Energy.
The facility will produce 35 megawatts. It is part of a 20-year power purchase agreement. The renewable energy production will offset some of Charlotte’s energy demands.
“Like any power plant, the solar project will be connected to the Duke Energy grid,” Duke spokesman Randy Wheeless said. “In a three-way transaction, the power Duke Energy buys from the facility will be credited against what the city of Charlotte uses for its facilities.”
A Duke press release stated that while Charlotte won’t be using the energy generated by the farm, it will help Charlotte reach its goal to fuel it all of its municipal fleet and facilities by zero-carbon energy sources by 2030.
To build and manage the solar farm, Charlotte is partnering with North Carolina-based Carolina Solar Energy and Ecoplexus, which has offices in Durham. An Ecoplexus press release stated the project will cost $55 million.
The Ecoplexus release stated the solar farm will offset one-quarter of carbon emissions from municipal buildings. The farm will be operational by 2022.
The Duke release indicated other large customers can make similar agreements through the company’s Green Source Advantage or GSA program. Charlotte is the first municipality to make such an agreement.
“We are proud to be a municipal leader in North Carolina and in the U.S., not only setting ambitious climate and energy goals, but taking actions on those goals to support the environment and health of our community,” said Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles.