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Lockheed Martin To Buy Power From Duke's Conetoe Solar Farm

Aerial view of Duke Energy's solar farm in Conetoe, N.C.
Aerophoto America

Duke Energy has signed a deal with aerospace giant Lockheed Martin for power from a solar farm Duke completed recently in Conetoe, N.C., east of Rocky Mount. 

Under a 17-year contract, Lockheed Martin will buy 30 megawatts of electricity, or about one-third of the farm's annual output.  

The Conetoe plant began operating recently, and is the largest solar farm east of the Mississippi River. Duke announced in December that Corning Inc. would buy the other two-thirds, or 50 megawatts.  

The solar farm is operated by Duke Energy Renewables, a division that's separate from Duke's main consumer energy business.

The Lockheed deal calls for Duke to supply about 72,000 megawatt hours per year of solar energy to the national power grid. The company will use the power across all its domestic business segments, according to a joint press release from Duke and Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed said the power purchase agreement is part of its “Go Green program.” “We have a goal to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent by 2020 based on our 2010 emissions, and with this investment in renewables we are one step closer to achieving that goal,” said Carol B. Cala, Lockheed Martin’s Vice President of Energy, Environment, Safety and Health.

Lockheed said it’s using about 260,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy annually, including renewable energy credits, which meets about 16 percent of its energy needs.

Nov. 19, 2015, WFAE.org, "Duke Builds Business Selling Solar And Wind Power To Others."

David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.