By Stephen Nakrosis
Duke Energy Corp. reached an agreement with "most of the major solar industry developers in North Carolina and South Carolina" to connect more solar power to Duke's grid, the company said on Thursday.
Solar projects totaling several hundred megawatts are targeted for completion in 2021 and 2022, the power company said. "The parties also agreed to resolve several long-standing formal and informal interconnection disputes," Duke said.
A notice of the settlement has been filed with the N.C. Utilities Commission and the Public Service Commission of S.C. asking for "regulatory approval of certain limited waivers necessary to implement the agreement," Duke said.
Duke Energy also said it reached an agreement with the North Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance and the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association to improve the interconnection process.
Duke will seek "a more efficient process of studying interconnection requests in clusters," rather than the current one-by-one process, the company said. "The cluster study method has been adopted by several states and system operators around the nation and provides a more predictable path to interconnection -- studying only those projects that are committed to becoming operational within a certain period."
Implementation will require approval by the NCUC, SCPSC and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Duke said.
Duke said it has over 3,500 MW of solar capacity connected to its energy grid in the Carolinas and has connected more than 500 solar generators operated by other companies in those states.
--Write to Stephen Nakrosis at firstname.lastname@example.org