Duke Energy to begin solar panels project

Duke Energy said Thursday it will go forward with its $50-million plan to install hundreds of rooftop solar panels across its service territory after a favorable ruling by the N.C. Utilities Commission.

The project will help Duke comply with a 2007 state law that requires utilities to produce some of their electricity from the sun, wind and organic wastes. It will also add to the company's experience with "distributed" electrical generation from scattered, small power sources.

Duke had originally planned a $100 million solar project, but later cut that budget in half and now expects to produce 8 megawatts, enough to supply about 1,300 homes. Most of the solar arrays will be mounted on the ground or roofs of large commercial and industrial buildings.

Duke will own the solar installations. Hundreds of building owners and homeowners have already applied to be included in the project, it says.

The commission approved the plan in December but on terms that Duke said might make it back away from the project.

To read the complete article, visit