The Charlotte City Council says it has voted to participate in the Duke Energy Green Source Advantage (GSA) Program, which will enable the City of Charlotte to move forward with a 35 MW, utility-scale solar energy project.
Charlotte’s participation in the program makes it the nation’s most populous city to acquire new renewable energy through a utility green tariff. The city will partner with Carolina Solar Energy, a North Carolina-based solar energy company, and Ecoplexus, an international solar energy company with offices in Durham, N.C., to build the solar farm, which is expected to be fully operational by 2022.
The project, which will help offset about 25% of carbon emissions from city-owned buildings over the next 20 years, helps advance the city’s Strategic Energy Action Plan (SEAP). The SEAP was adopted unanimously by the City Council in December 2018 and provides the roadmap for Charlotte to become a low-carbon city by 2050, aligning with the Paris Climate Agreement. As part of its goals, Charlotte aims to achieve 100% zero-carbon municipal buildings and fleet by 2030.
“Not only does this 35 MW solar energy project get us 25 percent of the way towards our goal in a very short time, but it contributes to building the green economy and improves our citizens’ quality of life,” says Heather Bolick, energy and sustainability coordinator for the City of Charlotte.
The solar energy project is expected to save Charlotte nearly $2 million in energy expenses over 20 years and will improve air quality in the region by reducing harmful pollution. In addition, it is expected to create 428 jobs in the region.
The GSA program allows large customers to select and negotiate directly with a renewable energy company of their choice, thereby allowing the large customer to keep all renewable energy certificates generated by that renewable facility.
Additional information can be found on the City of Charlotte’s Office of Sustainability website, here.
Photo: Carolina Solar Energy’s landing page