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PSC gives green light to Duke Energy’s solar projects

Duke Energy requested approval of $32 million in total annual revenue requirements.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) on Tuesday gave approval for cost recovery for Duke Energy Florida‘s development of three more solar projects.

These projects “generate clean energy, diversify the utility’s fuel mix, and save customers an estimated $105 million,” the agency said in a press release.

“Duke Energy’s solar projects will help the utility provide clean, cost-effective energy now and in the future to benefit Florida customers,” commission chair Art Graham said in a statement. “With utility expansion of renewable generation, Florida consumers continue to benefit from emissions-free energy.”

The PSC found the utility’s solar projects—the Trenton Project, the Lake Placid Project, and the DeBary Project—are cost effective and meet the provisions of its 2017 Settlement Agreement.

The Trenton Solar Power Plant, a 74.9 megawatt (MW) facility in Gilchrist County, and the Lake Placid Solar Power Plant, a 45 MW facility in Highlands County, are expected to be in service in December 2019.

The DeBary Generating Station, a 74.5 MW facility in Volusia County, is expected to be online by the first quarter of 2020.

As defined in the agreement, the company is authorized to request PSC approval for cost recovery of up to 700 MW of solar generation during the agreement term, and specifically up to 350 MW in 2019. This is DEF’s second round of solar projects under the provisions of the settlement agreement.

Duke Energy requested approval of $32 million in total annual revenue requirements for the second group of projects, petitioning for cost recovery through a Solar Base Rate Adjustment (SoBRA).  A SoBRA allows the PSC to consider adding solar projects to a utility’s rate base without the expense of a full rate case proceeding.

In April, the PSC approved cost recovery for DEF’s first group of solar projects, the Hamilton Solar Power Plant and the Columbia Solar Power Plant. Duke Energy serves 1.8 million customers in Florida.

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