North America's largest solar energy services provider, SunEdison, has activated the first phase of its 16-megawatt (MW) solar farm in Davidson County, North Carolina.
Comprised of more than 14,000 solar panels that will generate over 6 million kilowatt hours of electricity in the first year of operation, the first phase represents 4 megawatts of generation capacity, a healthy start to the 20 year contract SunEdison has with Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) who will be purchasing all the energy from the farm during this time.
Over those 20 years, the farm will generate 115 million kilowatt hours of electricity -- enough to power 10,000 average homes for one year. It also will offset more than 225 million pounds of carbon dioxide that otherwise would have been emitted from a traditional coal-burning power plant.
"This first phase represents a major milestone in our overall plan to develop 16 megawatts of solar energy at this site," said SunEdison President Carlos Domenech in a press release. "Having financed and completed this initial installation, we have mobilized resources for the next phase of the solar farm."
SunEdison was the first company to introduce the Solar Power Purchasing Agreement and currently manages nearly 96 MW of photovoltaic solar power plants in North America.
SunEdison was bought by silicon wafer manufacturer MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE:WFR) last year, who also bought solar project developer Business Institute Solar Strategy as part of a strategy to expand into Europe. These purchases will allow SunEdison access to over 300MW development opportunities in European countries.
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