Duke Energy Florida will begin construction on two new solar projects at the end of March in Bay and Madison counties.
The new projects are part of the company's community solar program, Clean Energy Connection, and advance the company's commitment to cleaner energy solutions to benefit Florida customers.
Construction on the following sites will begin in March and will take approximately nine to 12 months to complete, creating approximately 200 to 300 temporary jobs during that time.
- Mule Creek Renewable Energy Center will be built on approximately 700 acres that includes thoughtful site buffers for the community in Bay County, Fla. Once operational, the 74.9-megawatt (MW) facility will consist of approximately 175,000 solar panels.
- After a successful community open house, Winquepin Renewable Energy Center will be built on approximately 530 acres in Madison County, Fla. Once operational, the 74.9-MW facility will consist of approximately 220,000 solar panels.
At peak output, each site will generate enough carbon-free electricity to power what would be equivalent to around 23,000 homes.
"These new renewable energy projects not only help strengthen the energy diversity in the state and advance our clean energy goals, but they also bring additional economic benefits to the communities we serve," said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president.
Based on Duke Energy Florida's current fuel mix, each 74.9-MW solar facility displaces about 1.2 million cubic feet of natural gas, 15,000 barrels of fuel o,il and 12,000 tons of coal each year.
In 2022, because of high fuel prices and the benefits from initial tax credits due to a new federal law, the Inflation Reduction Act, Duke Energy Florida's solar power plants will save customers more than $30 million.
Clean Energy Connection program
Through the Clean Energy Connection program, Duke Energy Florida customers can subscribe to solar power and earn credits toward their electricity bills without having to install or maintain their own equipment.
Customers also receive a corresponding subscription credit that represents their share of the energy produced by the solar centers in a given month, multiplied by the subscription credit rate, which escalates over the life of the subscription.
In other news, Duke Energy has also begun commercial operation of the 120-megawatt (MW) Jackpot Solar project in Twin Falls County, Idaho. This is the company's first utility-scale renewable energy project in Idaho.