Duke Energy continues to expand solar power in North Carolina with construction starting on its 22.6-MW Stony Knoll Solar power plant. Once completed, it will be the largest solar array in Surry County, North Carolina.
The project will be owned and operated by Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions. Stony Knoll was selected as part of the competitive bidding process established by 2017’s solar legislation in North Carolina.
The solar plant will be composed of 76,600 Trina Solar bifacial modules with single-axis tracking and located on 195 acres in Dobson. The facility is targeting commercial operation by the end of 2021.
“Duke Energy is bringing more carbon-free, renewable energy to customers in North Carolina. We’re pleased to add Surry County to our ever-growing list of solar locations as we significantly reduce carbon emissions on our path to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president.
Under North Carolina’s Competitive Procurement for Renewable Energy program, proposed projects must be built where there is a need for energy capacity on the Duke Energy system in North Carolina or South Carolina. The bids can come from any company, including Duke Energy, and can be in the form of power purchase agreements, utility self-developed facilities or utility asset acquisitions.
“We’re pleased to continue to build upon the renewable energy resources in the state. The Stony Knoll solar project marks the third facility that we have announced in North Carolina this year and demonstrates our continued commitment to increasing clean energy generation in the state,” said Chris Fallon, president of Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions.
During peak construction, Stony Knoll Solar will create about 70 jobs. Along with indirect economic benefits that accompany solar project development, such as increased local spending in the service and construction industries, Stony Knoll Solar will also provide local tax revenues to the county and local school districts and payments to the participating landowners.
In January, the company awarded $10,000 to Copeland Elementary School in Dobson to fund the purchase of Chromebooks for students through the Duke Energy Foundation.
The facility’s design, procurement of inverters, the balance of plant systems and construction of the project will be performed by Swinerton Renewable Energy. The energy generated by Stony Knoll will be delivered through a 20-year PPA with Duke Energy Carolinas.