Duke Energy Florida Solar Programs
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Duke Energy has been supporting solar energy in Florida since 1988 when it built its first universal solar Since 1988, when it built its first universal solar array near the Econlockhatchee Trail, Duke Energy has supported Florida solar energy. By 2023 Duke Energy will have 14 universal solar power plants totaling 718 MW. Universal solar is a large solar plant. These solar plants make solar energy available regardless of your living situation. However, utilities typically charge their customers an additional fee to access this power.
Duke’s Clean Energy Connection Program
Duke Energy is transitioning to a new solar program called Clean Energy Connection (CEC). The CEC provides energy bill savings over time and access to solar power regardless of the customer’s housing situation.
How CEC Provides Customer’s With Energy Bill Savings
In April 2022, the CEC program will launch. Through this program, Duke Energy will charge customers an additional monthly subscription fee of $8.35 per kW of solar power the customer wants. Duke Energy has estimated that customers that use about 1,000 kWh a month will need to subscribe to 5kW blocks of solar power to cover their usage.
How CEC Credits Work
One of the selling points of this program is that it claims the customers will start saving money over time. The savings from this program occur through credits that the customer receives for each subscribed kW. For the first three years, subscribers receive 4 cents per kWh. Afterward, subscribers receive 1.5% more each year until they decide to opt-out of their subscription. After five years, the monthly solar credits received should exceed the subscription fee. After seven years, the credits should equal the subscription fees paid to that point and start generating energy usage savings.
2022 March Duke Energy Residential Rates
While the CEC Credits eventually cover the cost of subscribing to the program, savings on energy consumption depends on the customer and Duke Energy’s billing rates. As of March 2022, every customer has a customer service charge of $12.45 per month. Duke then charges an additional 8.301¢ per kWh for the first 1,000 kWh and 9.188¢ per kWh for any additional usage. If you opt for a time-of-use rate, Duke Energy charges 10.532¢ per kWh for on-peak usage, 9.022¢ per kWh for off-peak usage and 5.951¢ per kWh for super-off-peak usage.
Who Can Apply for This Program?
The CEC program will be available to homeowners, renters, business owners and low-income customers. Of the energy produced by this program, 26 MW will go to low-income customers.
Low-income CEC Rates
Those who qualify for low-income CEC rates pay $8.35 per kW and receive $9.03 in monthly credits. Meaning they receive a credit of 68 cents per kW they subscribe to that goes towards their electricity bill each month. A low-income customer that subscribes to 3 kW would save $24.48 annually on their electricity.
The Solar Program CEC is Replacing
The solar program that CEC is replacing is the Shared Solar program. Customers can continue to participate in this program until December 2023. The Shared Solar program charges an additional $7.75 per 50 kWh solar energy block. It then credits the customer (50 kWh x the number of blocks x 3.59¢). For one block of energy, this credit equals $1.79 for one block of solar energy. Unlike the CEC, the Shared Solar program doesn’t have an eventual monetary benefit for customers.
Net Metering and Solar Generation Programs
The last solar program that Duke Energy supports is net metering and customer solar generation. On January 1, 2022, Duke Energy imposed a mandatory minimum bill of $30 for generating customers.
Customer Energy Selling Options
Customers with solar arrays have a couple of options when it comes to selling excess power to Duke Energy. They can either participate in net metering, enter a power purchase agreement or parallel connect.
Duke Energy Net Metering
The most common way to sell excess energy is to enter into a net metering agreement. Duke Energy has a cap of 2 MW on the renewable generation project size. Systems less than 10 kW don’t have an application fee. If customers have energy credits at the end of the year, Duke Energy will pay the customer for them. The 2021 credit Duke gave was 3.665 cents per kWh put onto the grid.
Entering a Power Purchase Agreement
Power Purchase Agreements don’t have a cap or minimum. However, facilities under 1 MW don’t have to fill out the FERC Form 556. Customers that choose to enter into a Power Purchase Agreement are typically business owners. Those who enter this agreement agree to produce consistent power to Duke Energy and enter 10 to 35-year contracts that pay the customer a monthly capacity payment.
A Parallel Connection
Customers that choose to parallel connect with Duke Energy only connect momentarily with Duke Energy to either take electricity or put it onto the grid. These systems are limited to a maximum connection of 100 milliseconds and don’t rely on Duke Energy for most of their power. Instead, they rely heavily on the solar array and solar storage for their electricity.