Approximately 4,400 ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) solar modules on the property of the Martins Creek Elementary School in Murphy, N.C., will generate an estimated 1.3 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year – enough to power more than 150 average-sized homes.
Duke Energy Renewables, part of Duke Energy's Commercial Businesses, acquired Martins Creek Solar N.C., LLC, from ESA Renewables, LLC, in March 2011. ESA Renewables (www.esarenewables.com) designed and built the solar array, and operates it for Duke Energy Renewables. Electricity from the solar farm is sold through Blue Ridge Mountain EMC to the Tennessee Valley Authority, as part of TVA's Generation Partners(SM) program. The site began producing electricity in March.
The PV installation is believed to be the only one of its kind on school property in the state and the third-largest solar farm sited on school property in the U.S. The structure of the 10-year power purchase agreement with TVA through Blue Ridge Mountain EMC enables the elementary school to share in revenue created by electric generation at the site. This revenue roughly equates to the cost of staffing two full-time teachers at the school.
An interactive electronic display allows Martins Creek Elementary School students to track power production at the PV facility, which is located approximately 500 yards from the school.
The Martins Creek Solar Project is Duke Energy Renewables' fourth commercial solar farm in North Carolina and fifth nationwide. Duke Energy Renewables' initiatives are separate from the activities of Duke Energy Carolinas, which is part of Duke Energy's regulated business.
About Duke Energy Renewables
Duke Energy Renewables, part of Duke Energy's Commercial Businesses, is a leader in developing innovative wind and solar energy solutions for customers throughout the United States. The company's growing portfolio of commercial renewable assets includes nine wind farms and four solar farms in operation in five states, totaling approximately 1,000 megawatts in electric-generating capacity.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 500 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.