Duke Energy seeks N.C. solar projects

Duke Energy issued a request for proposals Friday for 300 megawatts of solar power projects in the Carolinas, nearly doubling its solar capacity.

Duke would buy power and renewable-energy certificates or buy projects outright. Solar projects greater than 5 megawatts, to be completed by the end of 2015, are being targeted.

Duke said the purchases would add to its renewable-energy portfolio and help it meet North Carolina’s green-energy mandate.

The request for proposals is being limited to the more than 2,500 megawatts of capacity that have already been proposed by solar developers within Duke’s transmission and distribution footprint.

“We want some planning to have taken place” for the projects Duke considers, spokesman Randy Wheeless said.

North Carolina ranked second in the nation, behind California, for solar capacity added in 2013, the market research firm Solarbuzz reported.