Duke Energy has completed its first community solar site in Hardee County, Fla., in its drive to make more solar power available for all customers in Florida. The Fort Green Renewable Energy Center is the first of 10 solar sites, totaling 750 MW, that are part of the company’s new Clean Energy Connection community solar program.
Through the program, Duke Energy Florida customers can subscribe to solar power and earn credits toward their electricity bills without having to install or maintain their own equipment.
“Bringing cleaner resources onto the grid is important to our customers and our company,” says Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida’s state president. “By subscribing to the Clean Energy Connection program and supporting solar sites like this one, our customers are joining a community that is helping drive Florida to a cleaner energy future.”
The 74.9 MW facility was built on approximately 500 acres of repurposed mining land in Hardee County, Fla. The project consists of nearly 265,000 solar panels, utilizing a fixed-tilt racking system that will produce enough carbon-free energy to effectively power more than 23,000 average-sized homes at peak production.
The second Clean Energy Connection site, Bay Trail Renewable Energy Center in Citrus County, is expected to begin supporting Clean Energy Connection subscriptions later this summer.
Launched in April 2022, the Clean Energy Connection program allows customers to subscribe to kW blocks of solar power from the company’s Clean Energy Connection solar portfolio. The monthly subscription fee will help pay for the cost of construction and operation of the solar power plants and is conveniently added to a customer’s regular electric bill.
The program sets aside 26 MW for income-qualified customers who participate in government subsidy programs or Duke Energy’s low-income energy efficiency program, Neighborhood Energy Saver.