North Carolina firm snags Shoreham solar farm

Owned and operated: Shoreham Solar Commons, a 24.9-megawatt solar farm located in Shoreham, is now owned by a North Carolina power company.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

A 25-megawatt Suffolk County solar farm has a new out-of-state owner.

Duke Energy Renewables, a subsidiary of North Carolina-based electric power holding company Duke Energy, has completed its acquisition of the Shoreham Solar Commons project – officially, a 24.9-MW facility located in the Town of Brookhaven, on the site of the former Tallgrass Golf Course.

Duke Energy Renewables acquired the farm – which as of July 1 began providing power to the Long Island Power Authority under a 20-year purchasing agreement – from Invenergy LLC, a Chicago-based global energy innovator.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. But electric energy produced by Shoreham Solar Commons is projected to displace 29,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, while creating nearly 1 million megawatt-hours of clean-generation energy over its lifetime, according to a statement from Duke Energy.

The acquisition adds to Duke Energy’s already-impressive portfolio, which includes 49,500 megawatts of electric-generating capacity in the Carolinas, the Midwest and Florida – including traditional and clean-gen generations – and natural gas distribution services for more than 1.6 million customers in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and the Carolinas.

Rob Caldwell: Welcome to New York.

Shoreham Solar Commons marks the company’s first foray into the Empire State – a milestone moment for the North Carolina-based conglomerate, according to Duke Energy Renewables President Rob Caldwell.

“As we continue to provide affordable, renewable energy to customers across the United States, we are especially pleased our first renewables project in New York helps meet the sustainability goals and energy needs of LIPA’s customers,” Caldwell said, adding the Shoreham Solar Commons project – which is also projected to generate annual tax revenues approaching $900,000 – “offers economic benefits to the local community.”

It also presents ecological benefits beyond greenhouse-gas reductions, according to Invenergy Executive Vice President Bryan Schueler.

“Repurposing the former Tallgrass Golf Course into a solar site eliminates the use of pesticides and fertilizers on the property, protecting Long Island’s freshwater aquifer,” Schueler, also Invenergy’s chief development officer, said in a statement. “We also planted 2,000 trees on the site, providing further environmental benefits in addition to the generation of renewable energy.”