Duke Energy is jumping into the non-residential solar business. The company recently filed to be a certified solar lessor with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) and plans to build, own and operate on-site solar facilities. DECER is not financially supported by either Duke Energy Carolinas or Duke Energy Progress, Duke Energy’s operating companies in the Carolinas.
“Customers want more solar power for their operations, but the large upfront investment can be an obstacle,” said Rob Caldwell, president, Duke Energy Renewables and Distributed Energy Technology. “Through DECER, we will be competing to provide customers a turnkey solar solution to meet their renewable energy goals, while managing the ongoing operations and maintenance of the facility.”
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Caldwell added that DECER will target businesses, and will mainly use local solar construction and maintenance companies to work on projects. Under DECER’s offering, companies can negotiate for solar facilities up to 1-MW of capacity – roughly 100 times the size of a typical residential home system. The agreement will have a term of up to 20 years. Customers will be able to use 100 percent of the electrical output of the facilities and be eligible for any rebates and net-metering options offered by Duke Energy. DECER will handle all the ongoing maintenance of the facilities.
Before beginning operation in North Carolina, Duke Energy must receive approval from the NCUC. Complete details of the NCUC filing can be found here. Duke Energy can already offer such services in South Carolina.
— Solar Builder magazine