TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif., April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), today announced it has acquired two commercial solar power projects near Twentynine Palms, Calif., from project developer SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer for more than 35 years.
The twin projects, named Highlander Solar 1 and 2, are in close proximity and will be run as a single operation. It will collectively generate 21 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy, enough to power more than 4,000 average homes each year.
"Highlander will be the company's largest commercial solar farm in the nation," said Duke Energy Renewables President Greg Wolf. "It enlarges our footprint in a key U.S. renewables market while delivering affordable, zero-emission solar power to help the state's customers meet their renewable energy goals."
Southern California Edison will buy all of the output generated by the project through a 20-year power purchase agreement.
After purchasing the sites in May of 2012, SolarWorld directed the project's engineering, procurement, permitting and construction and will complete Highlander in the second quarter of this year. Commercial operation will follow shortly thereafter. At the peak of construction, the project employed more than 200 workers, the majority from surrounding communities.
"This project will be an asset in the portfolio of Duke Energy, a nationally recognized leader in the field of clean-energy development," said Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas, the company's commercial unit. "Its investment underscores our position as a premier developer of large-scale solar projects."
Highlander, which SolarWorld originally named the Desert Star Solar Projects, sits on two parcels of land and features 100,188 SolarWorld Sunmodule solar panels manufactured in the company's Hillsboro, Ore., factory and mounted on SolarWorld's Suntrac single-axis trackers. When commissioned, the project will rank among the state's largest operating crystalline-silicon solar installations.
With the addition of Highlander, Duke Energy Renewables now owns more than 100 MW of generating capacity at 15 U.S. solar farms. Since 2007, Duke Energy has invested more than $2.5 billion to grow its commercial wind and solar business.
Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.
About Duke Energy Renewables Duke Energy Renewables, part of Duke Energy's Commercial Businesses, is a leader in developing innovative wind and solar energy generation projects for customers throughout the United States. The company's growing portfolio of commercial renewable assets includes 15 wind farms and 15 solar farms in operation in 10 states, totaling more than 1,700 megawatts in electric-generating capacity. Learn more at www.duke-energy.com/renewables.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.
About SolarWorld SolarWorld AG manufactures solar power systems and in doing so contributes to a cleaner energy supply worldwide. The company, located in Bonn, employs approximately 2,600 people and carries out production in Freiberg, Germany, and Hillsboro, USA. From raw material silicon to the solar module, SolarWorld manages all stages of production ‒ including its own research and development. Through an international distribution network, SolarWorld supplies customers all over the world with solar modules and complete systems. The company maintains high social standards at all locations across the globe, and has committed itself to resource- and energy-efficient production. SolarWorld has been publically traded on the stock market since 1999. More information at www.solarworld-usa.com
SolarWorld's U.S. EPC division has developed a wide range of projects since the early 1980s. Most recently, SolarWorld oversaw engineering and procurement and provided installation training for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's 11.6-megawatt Adelanto Solar Project in 2012.