Bank of America announced today it is partnering with Duke Energy to further expand its renewable energy commitment by powering its headquarters and other Charlotte, North Carolina operations with solar energy.
Through a renewable energy-sleeved power purchase agreement (PPA), the company is participating in Duke Energy’s Green Source Advantage (GSA) program. The bank is the first company and financial institution to sign a 10-year agreement for electricity and Green-e®-certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) through this program.
The purchase of a 25-megawatt (MWAC ) solar project’s electricity output and RECs will cover 45% of Bank of America’s electricity load in the state. By participating in Duke Energy’s GSA program, Bank of America further demonstrates its commitment to reduce its operational impacts on the environment, including being carbon neutral and utilizing 100% renewable electricity across its global operations.
“These unique projects and partnerships build on our achievement of carbon neutrality and expand our renewable energy commitment. By driving more clean energy solutions in our facilities, we are developing a broader sustainable energy ecosystem to help transform our operations and the communities where our employees work and live,” said Andrew Plepler, global head of Environmental, Social and Governance at Bank of America. “These partnerships bring to the forefront creative thinking and innovative solutions to address a changing climate and clean energy access.”
This innovative project will be constructed in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. It also adds additional clean energy to the grid, supports jobs and the local economy. The project will include the installation of a pollinator habitat surrounding 70,000 solar panels, covering approximately 180 acres, and is expected to be online in 2022.
“We continue to look for new and innovative ways to deliver more renewable energy to customers in North Carolina,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “Customers want more flexibility and options for renewable energy and the Green Source Advantage makes that happen.”
Silver Pine Energy, a joint venture between Silver Creek Energy and North Carolina developer Pine Gate Renewables, will oversee the development of the project and will support the engineering, procurement and construction services.
“Silver Pine Energy is very pleased to be a part of the Green Source Advantage program,” said Silver Pine President Ben Catt. “We are grateful to partner with Duke Energy and Bank of America for this project, and excited to continue to do our part to bring more renewable energy online in North Carolina through innovative and exciting programs such as GSA.”
Duke Energy’s GSA program has 600 MW of capacity for large Duke Energy customers in North Carolina. Cities – like the city of Charlotte – are also eligible to participate.
Duke Energy maintains more than 3,300 MW of solar power on its energy grid in North Carolina, which could power about 700,000 homes and businesses at peak output. The company also operates 40 solar facilities in the state. North Carolina currently ranks No. 2 in the nation for overall solar power.
The Green Source Advantage program is an outgrowth of 2017’s landmark solar legislation in North Carolina. Other programs such as solar rebates for customers and solar leasing were also part of that legislation. Duke Energy piloted the program, called the Green Source Tariff, in 2015.
Bank of America partnered with 3Degrees to purchase RECs for 10 years to help make possible the development of four additional solar projects in the eastern part of the state. The counties of Harnett, Columbus, Nash, and Johnston will benefit from these projects, with solar energy added to the grid and pollinator habitats that will increase biodiversity in these communities. The total annual MWh output from the 3Degree projects are expected to produce 33,000 MWh /year.
"We applaud Bank of America's continued investment in taking action against climate change," said Steve McDougal, CEO, 3Degrees. "We have partnered together several times, and the bank’s desire to consistently seek out innovative projects, such as this impactful long-term REC purchase in North Carolina, is impressive. Bank of America exemplifies true corporate climate leadership."
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Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) , a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.
Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.
Silver Pine is a joint venture partnership between Silver Creek Energy and Pine Gate Renewables. Silver Pine is actively developing dozens of projects across the southeast and beyond. The collective partnership combines to offer industry leading capabilities as a developer, financier, EPC, and operator of solar projects in the United States. Silver Pine currently oversees the construction and operation of 200 MWs of solar projects in the southeast and is actively developing over 1GW of solar across the country.
3Degrees makes it possible for businesses and their customers to take urgent action on climate change. As a certified B Corporation, we provide renewable energy, transportation decarbonization, and emission reduction solutions to global Fortune 500 companies, utilities, and other organizations that want to join the fight against climate change. The 3Degrees team has deep expertise in sustainability consulting, environmental markets, renewable energy and carbon project development, transportation decarbonization solutions, and utility renewable energy programs. Together with our customers, 3Degrees helps develop and implement creative solutions that ensure environmental integrity and make good business sense. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, CA. Learn more at 3degrees.com.
Pine Gate Renewables is a leading developer, financier, EPC, and operator of solar projects across the United States. Pine Gate currently operates more than 400MWs of renewable energy projects and has an additional 4GWs of projects in different stages of development throughout the country. Pine Gate is headquartered in Asheville, N.C.
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).
Kelly Sapp, Bank of America
Randy Wheeless, Duke Energy
Rachel Fagan, 3Degrees