US-based Duke Energy has started operations of its 74.9MW Hamilton solarpower plant in Jasper, Florida.
The new facility is part of the company’s strategic, long-term plan to build or acquire 700MW of solar energy in Florida through to 2022.
Duke Energy Florida (DEF) president Catherine Stempien said: “Duke Energy solar projects bring the greatest amount of renewable energy online for customers in the most efficient and economical way.
“Building solarpower plants like Hamilton is part of our ongoing strategy to offer sustainable, diverse and smarter energy solutions that our customers have told us they value.”
With 74.9MW capacity, the new plant will be able to able to generate enough carbon-free energy to power more than 20,000 homes at peak production.
DEF currently owns and operates approximately 100MW of solar energy resources throughout its regulated service territory.
Originally developed by Tradewind Energy, the Hamilton project broke ground in July last year and was completed by Duke Energy. It was brought online on 22 December.
DEF also announced plans to start construction this year on the Columbia solarpower plant in Fort White, Florida.
The Columbia solarpower plant will be a 74.9MW facility developed by Core Solar, while owned and operated by DEF once fully operational in March 2020.
In its first year of commercial operation, both solarpower plants are expected to eliminate approximately 645 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions in Florida.
Additionally, the Hamilton project will be a part of the DEF’s new Shared Solar Programme, which supports customers in participating in solar energy without installation on their property.