Greentech Media – Duke Plans Largest Floating PV Project in the Southeast
Duke Energy will build its first floating solar array at Fort Bragg, a U.S. Army base in North Carolina, the company said on Wednesday. It’s the largest such project ever announced in the Southeast, according to Wood Mackenzie.
The $36 million contract between Duke and Fort Bragg is designed to boost resilience and includes lighting and water upgrades, plus a 2-megawatt storage system tacked onto the solar project. Ameresco, a Massachusetts-based renewables developer and energy efficiency company, will build the project on a lake at the base. Fort Bragg will take over ownership when the construction is finished.
At 1.1 MW, the Duke project is no record by average solar standards. The biggest U.S. solar plants rank above 600 MW. But the project is a notable addition to the nation’s tiny but burgeoning floating solar market.
The average size of floating PV (FPV) installations in the U.S. is 1.5 MW, per WoodMac’s tracking data. The country’s largest project, a 4.4 MW installation in New Jersey, went live just last year. The country has thus far installed only about 9 MW of FPV, making the Fort Bragg installation “quite substantial,” said WoodMac solar analyst Molly Cox.