Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) announced today that it has begun construction on a 5 MW solar project in North Carolina, adding on to an initial farm to put total local solar capacity at 17.5 MW. 

Both solar farms in Beaufort County enjoy a 15-year power purchase agreement with the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency, allowing Duke Energy the flexibility to make its solar capital expenditures with confidence. The utility also owns six 1 MW facilities in western North Carolina.

The plant will be built by local solar company SunEnergy1 and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. According to SunEnergy1 CEO Kenny Habul, the two projects combined comprise North Carolina's largest solar facility.

Duke Energy currently operates 15 solar farms across 12 states and most recently bought a 4.5 MW project in downtown San Francisco.

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