Duke Energy to build Rowan County solar facility

Duke Energy will build a solar facility in Rowan County this year.
Duke Energy will build a solar facility in Rowan County this year. The Charlotte Observer

Duke Energy said Thursday it will build a solar facility in Rowan County, marking the utility’s third solar project for 2016 and a first for the county.

The 6-megawatt Woodleaf Solar Facility will occupy about 50 acres of Duke-owned property at the intersection of N.C. 801 and Old U.S. 70 in Rowan County’s Woodleaf community, about 50 miles northeast of Charlotte.

If it’s approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, construction will begin in the second quarter of this year, with completion targeted by year’s end, Duke said in a statement.

“We see 2016 shaping up to be active year for Duke Energy-owned solar projects,” said Rob Caldwell, Duke’s senior vice president of distributed energy resources.

Charlotte-based Duke announced plans in December to build a solar farm in Monroe that will be its third-largest in North Carolina, as well as another smaller one in Davie County.

Duke is also about to wrap up construction of 141 megawatts of solar capacity in Bladen, Duplin, Onslow and Wilson counties. North Carolina ranks fourth nationally for installed solar projects.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta