The City of Durham, Durham County Government, and Durham Public Schools (DPS) are the latest customers to benefit from Duke Energy’s Green Source Advantage (GSA) program. The three customers will collectively purchase almost 35 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity from a proposed solar facility located in Northeast Alamance County. It will be developed, owned and operated by Pine Gate Renewables, and is subject to local and state approvals. The project is expected to become operational by the end of 2025.
"Our municipal and large energy users are looking to expand renewable power in their energy mix. Many are finding Duke Energy’s Green Source Advantage program the perfect fit to accomplish that,” said Kendal Bowman, Duke Energy’s North Carolina state president. “We have designed it to be flexible and allow customers to modify it to meet their specific needs." GSA supports solar energy development throughout North Carolina and helps participants meet renewable energy goals.
Originally launched in 2017, the GSA program has been used by other customers such as the City of Charlotte, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Duke University. This is the first time multiple customers have joined together in one GSA project. “This project is critical to the success of our Carbon Neutrality and Renewable Energy Action Plan, but it also means progress toward our goals to bring cleaner air and a healthier environment to our Durham community,” said City of Durham Mayor Elaine O’Neal.
The city and county have goals to power operations and facilities with 80% renewable energy sources by 2030 and 100% by 2050. “The Green Source Advantage program is the project with the single-largest impact on meeting our renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions goals,” said Durham County Board of Commissioners Chair Brenda Howerton. “In addition to the environmental benefits, we are able to pay for the project as the clean energy is generated, avoiding the need for loans or bonds. That aligns with the county’s fiscal responsibility.”
This renewable energy project will offset approximately 50% of the city’s, 75% of the county’s, and 10% of DPS’s electricity consumption with clean, emission-free solar power. According to the U.S. EPA’s greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator, once built, the solar facility will avoid the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are sequestered or absorbed by more than 61,500 acres of U.S. forests in one year.
"We’re happy to be a part of this public-private partnership,” said DPS Building Services Executive Director Fredrick Davis. “Participation in this initiative will reduce our carbon footprint and improve our everyday energy usage. In our efforts to be a part of the county’s 2030 plan, this is one step toward our overall sustainability goals for DPS."