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Duke Energy to build 3 solar farms in Florida

Duke Energy Florida LLC will build three solar power plants with a combined capacity of 195 MW and in-service dates by the end of 2019 or early 2020.

The 45-MW Lake Placid Solar Power Plant will be built in Highlands County, Fla.; the 74.9-MW Trenton Solar Power Plant will be constructed in Gilchrist County, Fla.; and the 74.5-MW DeBary Solar Power Plant will be in Volusia County, Fla.

DEF acquired the development rights to the projects from EDF Renewables Inc., and DEF is responsible for all remaining development activities, including construction. DEF plans to invest around $1 billion to build or acquire 700 MW of solar power capacity in the state through 2022, the company said.

The Lake Placid and Trenton facilities are expected to become operational in December 2019, while the DeBary solar farm is expected to start commercial operations in March 2020.

The Duke Energy Corp. utility also filed a request with the Florida Public Service Commission to recover the costs of the projects, according to a March 25 press release. If approved, the rates will increase 22 cents per 1,000 kWh for the Lake Placid facility, 33 cents per 1,000 kWh for DeBary and 37 cents per 1,000 kWh for Trenton.

The cost recovery for Lake Placid and Trenton will start in January 2020 and for DeBary in April 2020.