A Duke Energy subsidiary is joining forces with Bank of America to support the construction of a 180-acre solar farm in the Piedmont Triad’s western reaches.
The project will include 70,000 solar panels that generate enough power to offset about 45% of the bank’s North Carolina electricity needs, the partners announced Monday.
Final details remain to be worked out, but the new solar farm will be located in the “western Triad” and is expected to come on line in about two years, Duke Energy spokesman Randy Wheeless said.
The Charlotte Business Journal reported Monday that the project would be located in the Yadkin County community of East Bend.
The project is part of Duke Energy’s Green Source Advantage program that enables large utility customers to link their power usage to sources of renewable energy.
“Customers want more flexibility and options for renewable energy,” said Stephen DeMay, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president.
The Charlotte-based bank is the first company to sign a 10-year agreement with Duke Energy in its renewable-power initiative. Earlier this year, the city of Charlotte inked a similar agreement to offset its electricity usage through the construction of a 35-megawatt solar farm in the Statesville area.
Monday’s joint announcement marks a step toward achieving Bank of America’s goal of “being carbon neutral and utilizing 100% renewable electricity,” bank executive Andrew Plepler said in a written statement.
“By driving more clean energy solutions in our facilities, we are developing a broader sustainable energy ecosystem to help transform our operations and the communities where our employees work and live,” Plepler said.
The planned Triad solar farm is being developed by Silver Pine Energy, a joint venture between Silver Creek Energy and North Carolina-based Pine Gate Renewables.
The partners said the project will include “installation of a pollinator habitat” surrounding the solar panels to counteract the loss of green acreage where bees and other pollinating insects contribute to the natural environment.
In a news release about the planned Triad project, Duke Energy said that it maintains more than 3,300 megawatts of solar power across North Carolina’s energy grid, helping to make the state second nationwide in solar capacity.
The project will produce enough electricity at peak performance to power the equivalent of more than 7,000 homes and businesses.