Duke Energy finishes local solar projects 

Duke Energy workers install the last panel at High Springs.
Duke Energy workers install the last panel at High Springs.
Courtesy of Duke Energy

Duke Energy Florida announced on Thursday that the company has completed two new solar projects that will each, at peak output, generate enough to power about 23,000 homes.  

The new solar plants are in Alachua and Suwannee County and part of the company’s Clean Energy Connection project, according to a Duke press release. 

Duke Energy Florida is a subsidiary of Duke Energy and owns 10,500 megawatts (MW) of energy capacity. The company supplies electricity to 1.9 million residential, commercial and industrial customers across a 13,000-square-mile service area in Florida. 

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According to the company press release, Duke Energy Florida is investing over $2 billion to build 25 grid-tier solar power plants that will benefit its 1.9 million customers. By 2024, the company aims to provide 1,500 MW of emission-free energy through 5 million solar panels.  

“The company is well on its way to meeting a major milestone by placing its 21st solar project in operation by the end of this year, delivering on our customer commitment to provide reliable, affordable, clean energy,” Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president, said in a statement. “These investments allow Florida customers to enjoy renewable energy, while also providing cost savings by reducing fuel use.” 

In Alachua and Levy counties, Duke Energy customers avoided a combined 2,900 extended power outages in 2021. 

Income qualified members of Clean Energy Connection will receive guaranteed savings on their energy bill monthly, according to the company. The Clean Energy Connection offers a subscription to solar power and Duke Energy installs and maintains the solar panels. In return, customers received credits applied to their energy bill. 

The monthly subscription fee helps to pay for the cost of construction and operation of Duke Energy renewable energy centers. Duke Energy Florida customers who are interested in the program can learn more through the Clean Energy Connection website

The High Springs Renewable Energy Center in Alachua County is built on 700 acres, and the Hildreth Renewable Energy Center is built on 635 acres in Suwannee County.  

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