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Duke Energy receives approval for solar plant at Ind. naval base

receivedapproval to build a 17-MW solar plant at an Indiana naval base.

TheIndiana Utility Regulatory Commission on July 6 approved a settlement agreementbetween the Duke Energy Corp.utility and the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor that paves the wayfor construction of the project. The order grants Duke Energy Indiana acertificate of public convenience and necessity for the plant. (Cause No. 44734)

DukeEnergy Indiana announcedplans in January to build the 17-MWac solar facility at Naval Support ActivityCrane in Martin County, Ind.

Aspart of a settlement with the OUCC, Duke Energy Indiana agreed to a cap onconstruction costs of $41.3 million, exclusive of allowance for funds usedduring construction and post in-service carrying costs. The company also agreednot to see cost recovery from customers in excess of $41.3 million, plus theactual, accrued amount of AFUDC and carrying costs.

Within90 days after the Crane Solar Facility is in service, Duke Energy Indiana canfile for a new annual rider tied to cost recovery for utility-owned renewableenergy generation projects.

Inaddition, Duke Energy Indiana agreed to install a remote operable switchconnected to the 69-kV transmission line that serves NSA Crane. Theinterconnection must be approved by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator Inc. Onceinstalled, the remote switch will be able to isolate the solar plant from thetransmission network and enable NSA Crane to purchase the generation in theevent of catastrophic grid failure.

Constructionon the project will begin this month, with the plant expected online in early2017, Duke Energy Indiana said in a July 7 news release.