May 29, 2014
Photo: Shezamm/creative commons
Large-scale solar power has been taking off in North Carolina, with Duke Energy's recent RFP for 300MW of new solar quickly getting over subscribed. Still, "large-scale" is a relative term. Many of the solar farms being built in North Carolina are somewhere in the 1 to 10 MW range right now—with Apple's Catawba County 20MW installation being an outlier. But the Charlotte Observer reports that Asheville-based Innovative Solar Systems is looking to leverage economies of scale, filing applications for 12 solar farms of between 25 and 80 megawatts, mostly located in Eastern North Carolina:
Farms of that size would require hundreds of acres of leased land and negotiated interconnection and power-purchase agreements with utilities. If all of the proposed ISS projects were built, the farms would have a total capacity of 620 megawatts, compared with the 750-megawatt capacity of the new natural gas-fired power plant Duke Energy will build in South Carolina.