ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Sept. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy Florida customers are benefitting from approximately 22,000 solar panels that are generating clean, renewable energy in the Sunshine State.
The company's newest solar power plant, located on 22 acres in Taylor County, is the size of 17 football fields and is producing 5 megawatts of carbon-free energy. One megawatt of universal solar is equivalent to about 200 typical residential rooftop systems. The number varies by state and conditions.
School representatives, local students, elected officials, and community leaders, will join Duke Energy at a commemorative ribbon cutting and solar panel signing ceremony Oct. 19 to celebrate the opening.
"We are proud of the investments we're making in Florida's solar development," said Alex Glenn, Duke Energy state president – Florida. "With the cost of solar energy decreasing and panel efficiency advancing, building solar power plants like Perry is part of our ongoing strategy to offer cleaner, smarter energy solutions that customers value."
The Perry Solar Facility is the second in a strategic, long-range plan to install 35 megawatts of solar energy by 2018 and up to 500 megawatts of solar energy in the state by 2024, helping ensure residents have increasingly clean and diverse power sources.
Duke Energy Florida's Osceola Solar Facility began operating in May, providing nearly 4 megawatts of solar energy through 15,000 panels.
Solar projects, such as the Perry and Osceola facilities, enable the company to efficiently bring the greatest amount of renewable energy on line for customers in the most economical way.
Earlier this year, the company also unveiled a 5-megawatt solar power plant in the shape of a "not-so-hidden-Mickey" to meet the energy needs of Walt Disney World Resort and its customers through an agreement with the Reedy Creek Improvement District.
In addition to building universal solar in the Sunshine State, Duke Energy Florida is helping more than 90 residential and business customers per month install private solar on their property.
In the past five years, the number of customers who have interconnected private solar has increased by 400 percent. The company has also established a renewables service center to make it easier for customers to interconnect and is researching various community solar programs that offer all of Duke Energy's customers the opportunity to support more solar generation in Florida.
Over the past eight years, Duke Energy has invested more than $4 billion in wind and solar facilities in 12 states.
Construction and images of other Duke Energy solar projects are available upon request.
About Duke Energy Florida
Duke Energy Florida owns and operates a diverse generation mix, including renewables, providing about 9,100 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.7 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area.
With its Florida regional headquarters located in St. Petersburg, Fla., Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.4 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest, representing a population of approximately 24 million people. Its Commercial Portfolio and International business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is an S&P 100 Stock Index company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.
The Duke Energy News Center serves as a multimedia resource for journalists and features news releases, helpful links, photos and videos. Hosted by Duke Energy, illumination is an online destination for stories about remarkable people, innovations, and community and environmental topics. It also offers glimpses into the past and insights into the future of energy.
Contact: Peveeta Persaud
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SOURCE Duke Energy