Duke Energy announces solar power expansion
BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY)– Duke Energy Progress announced a 500 million dollar commitment today that will bring renewable energy and hundreds of jobs to eastern North Carolina.
It’s a project that includes three solar panel facilities. One right here in Bladen County. Senior vice president of distributed energy Rob Caldwell says it is going to be a cost effective plan for their customers.
“This is of interest to our customers because what we’re doing is we’re getting a significant number of megawatt hours at a lower price,” Caldwell said.
Executive Director of the Bladen County’s Economic Development, Chuck Heustess, says solar farms are something new to their county.
“We’re just learning about these projects and what the impacts will be,” Heustess said.
Duke Energy says the construction phase will bring a couple hundred jobs to the county.
While they may not be permanent jobs, Heustess says the county could use it.
“It looks like it would be a good number of temporary jobs,” Heustess said. “That would certainly be a positive thing, since we have one of the higher unemployment rates in the state. You always like for Duke to invest in your community.”
We asked Duke Energy will customers see a difference on their energy bills?
“It’ll be hard to see, but it’s a significant move in the right direction and the cost effectiveness of these large projects will benefit our customers,” Caldwell said.
Duke Energy says construction for these sites will start during the first part of 2015.