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Duke Energy's Hamilton Solar Power Plant opens in Florida, providing more carbon-free energy for Sunshine State customers

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Jan. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy today announced the completion and operation of its new 74.9-megawatt (MW) Hamilton Solar Power Plant in Jasper, Fla.

Duke Energy, the nation's largest electric utility, unveils its new logo. (PRNewsFoto/Duke Energy) (PRNewsfoto/Duke Energy)

The plant's carbon-free power is enough to energize more than 20,000 homes at peak production.

Across Duke Energy's Florida service territory, the company's 1.8 million customers ? and the environment ? are now benefiting from approximately 300,000 solar panels that generate clean, renewable energy. Drone video is available at this link ? https://vimeo.com/302760836/f31b89f040.

"Duke Energy solar projects bring the greatest amount of renewable energy on line for customers in the most efficient and economical way," said Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy Florida (DEF) state president. "Building solar power plants like Hamilton is part of our ongoing strategy to offer sustainable, diverse and smarter energy solutions that our customers have told us they value."

The Hamilton plant is part of the company's strategic commitment to install or acquire 700 MW of solar energy in Florida through 2022, helping ensure residents have increasingly clean and diverse power sources. DEF currently owns and operates nearly 100 MW of solar energy resources throughout its regulated service territory.

The company broke ground for the Hamilton plant in July 2018 and brought it online Dec. 22. The project, originally developed by Tradewind Energy Inc., was completed by Duke Energy.

Also in 2018, DEF announced plans to break ground in 2019 on the Columbia Solar Power Plant in Fort White, Fla. It will be developed by Core Solar. DEF will own, operate and maintain the 74.9-MW facility, which is expected to be fully operational in March 2020.

Together, the Hamilton and Columbia solar power plants are expected to eliminate approximately 645 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions in Florida during their first year of commercial operation. That's the equivalent of taking 63,000 passenger cars off the road.

In addition to expanding its solar investments, Duke Energy is making strategic, targeted investments in battery storage technology, transportation electrification to support the growing U.S. adoption of electric vehicles, and a modernized power grid to deliver the diverse and reliable energy solutions customers want and need.

Renewables Service Center

In addition to building universal solar in the Sunshine State, DEF is helping more than 400 residential and business customers per month interconnect their private solar systems to the local electric grid.

The company established a renewables service center to make it easier for customers to interconnect. In the past five years, the number of customers who have interconnected their private solar in Florida increased by 750 percent. For more information call 866.233.2290.

Shared Solar Program

The Hamilton Solar Power Plant will be a part of the DEF's new Shared Solar Program, providing customers with the opportunity to support the development of clean energy and reduce their environmental footprint. The Shared Solar program makes it possible for everyone to participate in solar energy without installation on their property.

Customers can subscribe to blocks of clean energy coming from the Hamilton Solar Power Plant and three other participating solar power plants in Taylor, Suwannee and Osceola counties. Residential, commercial and industrial customers are eligible to participate. For more information on the Shared Solar program, visit duke-energy.com/FLSharedSolar or call 866.233.2290.

Duke Energy Florida

Duke Energy Florida owns and operates a diverse generation mix, including natural gas, coal and renewables, providing about 9,300 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.8 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area.

Duke Energy Florida is a subsidiary of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK).

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S., with approximately 29,000 employees and a generating capacity of 49,500 megawatts. The company is transforming its customers' experience, modernizing its energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding its natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves.

The company's Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit serves approximately 7.6 million retail electric customers in six states ? North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Its Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in five states ? North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. Its Commercial Renewables unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the U.S.

A Fortune 125 company, Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2018 "World's Most Admired Companies" list and Forbes' 2018 "America's Best Employers" list.

More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center includes news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Contact: Ana Gibbs
Office: 727.820.4722 | 24-Hour: 800.559.3853

SOURCE Duke Energy

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