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GreenCo to Purchase Renewable Energy Certificates from New Duke Energy Commercial Solar Project in North Carolina

MURFREESBORO, N.C., Jan. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- GreenCo Solutions and North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation will purchase renewable energy certificates and electricity, respectively, from a new solar project Duke Energy is acquiring from SunPower in Hertford County.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20040414/DUKEENERGYLOGO )

Groundbreaking at the 6.4-megawatt (DC) Murfreesboro Solar Project (equivalent to 5 MW AC) is expected this spring. When completed in late 2011, the solar farm will be capable of generating enough electricity to power about 700 average-sized homes.

GreenCo Solutions, a company owned by 22 electric cooperatives, will buy all renewable energy certificates (RECs) generated by the facility to assist its members in meeting their solar power requirement under the state's Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS). GreenCo executed a 20-year purchase agreement with Duke Energy Renewables, a newly renamed part of Duke Energy's unregulated, commercial business.

The electricity produced by the solar farm will be purchased by NCEMC, the power supply organization for the majority of the state's electric cooperatives, under a 20-year agreement.

Duke Energy Renewables acquired the Murfreesboro project in December 2010 from SunPower Corp., which designed and will build the solar photovoltaic system. SunPower will mount nearly 20,000 high-efficiency crystalline silicon panels at the site on SunPower T0 Tracker® technology. T0 Trackers use a global positioning satellite system to follow the sun's movement during the day. This increases sunlight capture by up to 25 percent over conventional fixed-tilt systems, while significantly reducing land use requirements.

"We are pleased to announce our participation in one of the state's largest solar projects," said Rick Thomas , CEO of NCEMC and GreenCo Solutions. "This project will provide 20 years of clean, renewable electricity to our members and help GreenCo cooperatives meet the solar requirements of the N.C. REPS."

"Duke Energy Renewables is committed to helping our valued customers incorporate renewable energy into their long-term plans," said Greg Wolf , Duke Energy Renewables president. "Through this power purchase agreement, GreenCo and NCEMC's member cooperatives have locked in renewable energy certificates and a supply of affordable, zero-emissions electricity for decades to come."

"Solar photovoltaic technology is a reliable, cost-effective energy resource that can be installed anywhere — from rooftops to power plants," said Howard Wenger , president of SunPower's utility and power plants business group. "SunPower's world-leading high-efficiency technology and history of reliable performance will maximize the solar energy delivered to NCEMC's customers."

The solar farm will be constructed on roughly 37 acres of leased land near Murfreesboro, which is approximately 120 miles northeast of Raleigh, N.C.

The Murfreesboro Solar Project is Duke Energy Renewables' third commercial solar farm in North Carolina and fourth nationwide. Duke Energy Renewables' initiatives are separate from the activities of Duke Energy Carolinas, which is part of Duke Energy's regulated business.

About GreenCo Solutions

GreenCo Solutions, Inc. is a member-owned organization created in 2008 to help 22 electric cooperatives meet their renewable energy and energy efficiency goals and comply with the state's REPS. More information is available at www.greencosolutions.net.

About NC Electric Membership Corporation

NCEMC is a generation and transmission cooperative that supplies all or part of the energy needs to 25 electric cooperatives in North Carolina, who provide electricity to almost 1 million members. NCEMC owns generation resources and purchases power from other power suppliers. NCEMC has also been involved in the development of several renewable energy projects in North Carolina, as well as significant energy efficiency initiatives.

About Duke Energy Renewables

Duke Energy Renewables, part of Duke Energy's Commercial Businesses, is a leader in developing innovative renewable energy solutions, including wind, solar and biopower projects, for customers throughout the United States.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

About SunPower

Founded in 1985, SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB) designs, manufactures and delivers the planet's most powerful solar technology broadly available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company's experience and proven results to maximize return on investment. With headquarters in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. For more information, visit www.sunpowercorp.com.



Duke Energy

Greg Efthimiou







Kristie Aldridge




Ingrid Ekstrom




SOURCE Duke Energy



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