SunEdison a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials has activated the first phase of its 16-megawatt (MW) solar farm in Davidson County, N.C.The first phase of the project represents 4 MW of generation capacity and is comprised of more than 14,000 solar panels. The complete system is expected to go online by the end of the year.

The first phase of the project is expected to generate 6 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity in the first year of operation. Duke Energy is buying the farm’s entire output under a 20-year contract. Over those 20 years, the completed farm will generate 115 million kilowatt hours of electricity.

“This first phase represents a major milestone in our overall plan to develop 16 megawatts of solar energy at this site,” said Carlos Domenech SunEdison’s president. “Having financed and completed this initial installation, we have mobilized resources for the next phase of the solar farm.”

The deal between Duke and SunEdison was originally announced in May, 2008. The agreement was a result of a request for proposals (RFP) that Duke Energy issued in April 2007. It was the first RFP of its kind in North Carolina and was specifically designed for potential renewable providers.

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