Duke buys two Arizona solar plants, now owns nine PV projects

Duke Energy Corporation now owns a total of nine solar farms after buying two utility-scale power plants in Arizona.

Duke Energy Renewables, a unit of Duke, purchased the Ajo Solar Project and Bagdad Solar Project from Recurrent Energy in August for an undisclosed sum. The solar photovoltaic power plants are the company’s first in the American West, according to a statement.

Ajo Solar located in Pima County generates around 5 megawatts of electricity and came online in late September. Bagdad Solar in Yavapai County can generate 15 MW of electricity and is expected to be operational by year-end.

Arizona Public Service Company will buy all of the output from both solar farms under two 25-year power purchase agreements, originally signed with Recurrent Energy.

Project developer AMEC plc, headquartered in Britain, will operate and maintain the sites under five-year service agreements with Duke.

«For Duke Energy, this landmark deal doubles our portfolio of commercial solar projects in operation and instantly expands our footprint to the western United States.» Duke Energy Renewables President Greg Wolf.

Duke now has a solar portfolio of 45 MW. Before the deal, the company had a 14-MW solar farm in San Antonio, Texas, a 6-MW project in Florida and five 1-MW sites in North Carolina. The company is currently building another 5 MW facility also in North Carolina.

Since 2007, Duke Energy has invested more than $1.75 billion to grow its commercial wind and solar business lines. Most of the company’s renewable energy portfolio consists of wind power with 10 farms generating around 1,000 MWs.

California-based Recurrent Energy builds and runs solar power plant projects. Japanese conglomerate Sharp Corporation bought the solar project developer last year for $305 million. – Oliver M. Bayani

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