Duke Energy Solar Power Photovoltaic Project in Texas Secures Financing

Duke Energy Generation Services (DEGS), a Duke Energy Commercial Businesses unit that owns and develops renewable power assets, has raised approximately $45 million by leveraging its ownership of the 14-megawatt (16-megawatt direct current) Blue Wing Solar Project, currently under construction in San Antonio, Texas. Prudential Capital Group provided the 25-year loan.

"This financing is another important milestone for Duke Energy as we continue to build a portfolio of high-quality commercial renewable power projects," said Greg Wolf, DEGS senior vice president for business development. "We’re demonstrating our capacity to deliver and execute on every aspect of a successful solar photovoltaic project, including the judicious deployment of Duke Energy’s capital."

"Prudential is pleased to be working with Duke Energy – a company we believe has the track record and project development expertise to be a leader in the growing photovoltaic solar market," said Ric Abel, managing director of the Electric Finance Group within Prudential Capital Group, an institutional investment unit of Prudential Financial Inc. (NYSE: PRU).

When completed later this year, Blue Wing will consist of 214,500 ground-mounted First Solar thin-film panels, making it the largest photovoltaic (PV) project in Texas.

DEGS purchased the 139-acre project from Boulder, Colo.-based juwi solar in the first quarter of 2010. Juwi solar is the construction contractor for the project. The acquisition came with a 30-year power purchase agreement to sell all of the output from the solar farm and associated renewable energy credits to San Antonio-based CPS Energy, one of the largest municipality-owned utilities in the U.S.

Blue Wing will be DEGS’ second commercial PV solar project. The company already owns and operates a 1-megawatt (MW) solar farm in Shelby, N.C., and is developing other potential solar projects across the U.S.

In late May 2010, DEGS announced that it had secured a 15-year term loan of approximately $325 million and letters of credit totaling roughly $50 million by leveraging its interests in five of its commercial wind farms. The company owns and operates 735 MW of commercial wind power generation at seven U.S. sites. With the addition of two wind projects currently under construction, DEGS will have nearly 1,000 MW of wind power generation in operation by the end of 2010.

Funds raised as a result of both rounds of financing will help fuel growth in the company’s commercial renewable power business lines.

Duke Energy Generation Services, part of Duke Energy’s Commercial Businesses, is a leader in developing innovative renewable energy solutions, including wind, solar and biopower projects. DEGS builds, owns and operates electric generation for large energy consumers, municipalities, utilities and industrial facilities. DEGS is also working to build commercial transmission capacity to help the U.S. meet its energy needs of the future.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK.