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Duke Energy seeks 50 megawatts of N.C. solar

SolarWorld Corp. solar panels stand at the Heartland Power Cooperative solar array in St. Ansgar, Iowa, U.S., on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. Heartland Power Cooperative, one of over 900 electric cooperatives in the U.S., serves 5,200 members in northeast Iowa. The solar project will be comprised of 2,706 315-watt solar panels made by SolarWorld Corp., capable of generating approximately 852 kW of electricity. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
SolarWorld Corp. solar panels stand at the Heartland Power Cooperative solar array in St. Ansgar, Iowa, U.S., on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. Heartland Power Cooperative, one of over 900 electric cooperatives in the U.S., serves 5,200 members in northeast Iowa. The solar project will be comprised of 2,706 315-watt solar panels made by SolarWorld Corp., capable of generating approximately 852 kW of electricity. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg Bloomberg

Duke Energy issued a request for proposals Tuesday for up to 50 megawatts of new solar energy in North Carolina.

The solar projects would be tied to a program Duke launched in 2013 that lets large customers such as data centers choose green energy.

Duke will look for new projects, of at least 2 megawatts each, in its Duke Energy Carolinas territory of western North Carolina. It prefers projects in advanced stages of development.

Solar developers may sell power to Duke under contracts of up to 15 years or sell their projects outright to Duke. Write DECRenewableRFP@duke-energy.com for details on the RFP.

Rob Caldwell, Duke’s senior vice president for distributed energy, said the company prefers projects that could be online by the end of 2015 but will consider those due in 2016.

Duke won approval in December for a $500 million solar expansion in North Carolina. It will include three Duke-owned solar farms and purchases of power from five owned by others.

Henderson: 704-358-5051;

Twitter: @bhender

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