A new investment plan from Duke Energy Florida includes a new community solar opportunity for residential customers. The Clean Energy Connection Program, part of a $1 billion investment plan from the Florida-based energy company, requires approval from the Florida Public Service Commission before it can be put into motion.
According to Duke Energy’s announcement regarding the program, the investment will allow its solar programs to reach residential and business customers in a way that doesn’t require private panel installation. The program will also allow Duke to develop utility-owned solar farms that would connect to power grids in Florida.
Duke Energy Florida president Catherine Stempien commented on the Clean Energy Connection Program, stating the community solar opportunity will provide the company’s customers with affordable, renewable energy options. Stempien added that it would allow homeowners to participate in reducing Florida’s overall carbon emissions.
Upon approval, Duke Energy will sink $1 billion in new installations across Florida over three years. Municipalities like the City of DeLand will receive credits equivalent to the energy it produces on its monthly utility bill. DeLand city manager, Michael Pleus, states that the first few years of credits will come just under the subscription fee. However, after five years, it will pay for itself and ultimately cover additional fees.
DeLand is expected to pay $1,420 in year one, which increases to $4,858 the second year, $7,859 the year after, and $3,529 by year four. In total, the city should see a savings of $2 million over the program’s life.
Though DeLand was confirmed as a proposed location of a solar installation, Duke hasn’t revealed any additional sites it may use for its future project. Upon approval by the Florida Public Service Commission, more information will be released by the solar energy company.
Ana Gibbs, a spokesperson for Duke Energy, states that they are likely to be built in rural areas due to the size of the installations.