Renewables Rolling Ahead in 2020

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With a goal of doubling Duke Energy's wind, solar and biomass portfolio by 2025, increased activity in renewable energy the past 12 months should come as no surprise.

The company added more than 700 megawatts (MW) of Duke Energy-owned renewable energy capacity in 2020 – making progress on our 2025 goal of 16,000 MW of owned, operated and contracted renewables.

For Commercial Renewables, the company added three solar projects, totaling 460 MW, in Texas and Colorado.

For regulated utilities, Florida continues to be a growth area for the company. Last year, Duke Energy brought a pair of large solar projects totaling almost 150 MW online. It also has two others under construction.

In early 2021, Florida regulators approved the company's Clean Energy Connection program, providing a pathway for a variety of customers to participate in large-scale solar and obtain bill credits in exchange for a monthly subscription fee – offering more options for customers to support the clean energy transition within our company on a voluntary basis.

Under the program, Duke Energy plans to invest an estimated $1 billion in new solar power plants across Florida, totaling an additional 750 MW of new solar. The first plants will go online in 2022 and more will follow through 2024. Overall, 10 more plants are planned.

In North Carolina, the company’s $62 million solar rebate program helped more customers than ever go solar. The successful five-year program led about 5,500 customers to install private solar systems in the state during 2020.

Duke Energy also helped large customers go solar in 2020 with its Green Source Advantage program. The city of Charlotte, Bank of America and Duke University are all pursuing new solar projects under the company’s program, which allows large energy users to negotiate directly with solar developers on independent solar projects.

In South Carolina, the company crafted an agreement with the solar business community on how the company will compensate customers through net metering. Regulators still must approve the measure, but the details could be a road map as other states look for a solution that works for all stakeholders.