Duke Energy Renewable, a unit of
Duke Energy Corporation
), has completed the White Post Solar Project in Beaufort County,
North Carolina (N.C.), near Bath and Washington. The project has
been built by SunEnergy1, which is a solar design, engineering
and construction company based in Mooresville, N.C.
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The commercial-scale solar power project has 53,000 panels
installed on it. The solar facility with an electric generation
capacity of 12.5 megawatt (MW) has the capacity to generate
enough electricity to power approximately 3,000 homes. Under a
15-year agreement, Duke will sell the electricity to North
Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency (NCEMPA).
The addition of this project has more than doubled the solar
capacity of Duke Energy in the state. The company already had
eight solar farm projects in North Carolina with a total
generation capacity of 11 MW. Projects at Carolina include 1-MW
Shelby Solar Project, the 1-MW Taylorsville Solar Project, the
1-MW Martins Creek Solar Project,, 5-MW Murfreesboro Solar
Project, the 12.5-MW Beaufort County facility and three
1-megawatt commercial solar projects located in or near the town
of Murphy, N.C.
Recently, the company had completed the Black Mountain Solar
Power Project in Arizona that has an electric generation capacity
of 10 megawatt ("MW"). The Black Mountain Solar Power Project
consists of 42,000 PV panels. Located in Mohave County, the Black
Mountain site is expected to generate clean and renewable energy
that is sufficient to power 1,900 homes annually.
The company is providing affordable and clean energy to North
Carolina and also continuing its involvement in eastern North
Carolina as was done by its merger partner Progress Energy.
Moreover, Duke Energy's recent acquisition of Progress Energy
Inc. spread the new entity's stable U.S. electricity and gas
operations in the Carolinas, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky and
Ohio. Key growth drivers of the company include its strong
balance sheet and ongoing capital expansion projects.
However, we prefer to remain on the sidelines due to the present
unfavorable macro backdrop, predominantly fossil-fuel based
generation assets, tepid demand for electricity and pending
Like its peers,
American Electric Power Co. Inc.
), the company presently retains a short-term Zacks Rank #3
(Hold) that corresponds with our long-term Neutral recommendation
on the stock.