Duke Energy Buys Majority Stake in REC Solar

REC Solar project
REC Solar was hired to design, procure and install a custom solar ground mount installation on a cold storage facility adjacent to a similar ground mount system for neighboring facility. The project was completed in August 2010.

 Duke Energy, the nation’s largest electric utility, today announced the acquisition of a majority interest in REC Solar, a provider of comprehensive commercial solar and energy solutions nationwide.

In addition, over several years, Duke Energy will invest up to $225 million in commercial solar projects developed by REC Solar and supported by long-term power purchase agreements.

REC Solar, based in San Luis Obispo, Calif., will deliver a simple sales and financing process for commercial-scale customers, similar to that provided by residential solar companies. REC Solar serves key sectors including retail, manufacturing, agriculture, technology, government and nonprofits.

“This arrangement will build on Duke Energy’s mission of giving commercial customers solutions that reduce energy costs and achieve their sustainability goals,” said Marc Manly, Duke Energy executive vice president and president – Commercial Portfolio.

“With its long track record and commitment to quality, safety and customer service, REC Solar has demonstrated years of success in delivering solar power,” added Manly. “Through this arrangement, REC Solar will be better equipped to expand its offerings to commercial customers and provide an array of cost-efficient energy solutions.”

“We plan to extend the benefits of clean, distributed energy solutions to previously underserved small and medium-sized businesses,” said Allen Bucknam, chief executive officer, REC Solar. “The Duke Energy relationship realizes our strategy to be the one-stop shop for commercial solar by securing a predictable and streamlined customer financing process.”

Partnering with Duke Energy Renewables, REC Solar offers simplified customer financing, including leases and power purchase agreements, to provide customers with immediate savings.

“By lowering upfront costs and reducing the complexity of going solar, our aim is to accelerate commercial solar growth and provide end-to-end energy solutions to businesses, governments and educational institutions across the United States,” said Bucknam.

Established in 1997, REC Solar is an experienced photovoltaic (PV) solar provider that has completed more than 400 solar projects, ranging in size from multi-megawatt utility projects to local business rooftop systems. The company has more than 140 MW of distributed solar deployed or under construction.

Duke Energy is a leader in renewable energy, with wind and solar facilities in 12 states. Over the past eight years, the company has invested more than $4 billion in utility-scale renewables projects.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.