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With $100M, Duke Energy Joins Rooftop Solar Movement

duke_energy_logo2.jpgDuke Energy has invested $100 million in commercial-scale rooftop solar panels, VentureBeat reports.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based electric utility will tap into the market that has seen large investments in recent months from major utilities. It joins major solar investor Southern California Edison, which announced plans in March to invest $875M in 250 megawatts of solar panels on 65 million square feet of roofs — or two square miles — of commercial buildings in Southern California.

Like SCE, Duke plans to tie its panels into the existing grid; sell the excess power generated by its customers as if it were power from one of its plants.

SCE CEO Jim Rogers does not presently see wind energy a viable alternative since environmentalists would not favor wind farms along California’s coastal ridges where wind resources are usually at their peak. Duke Energy Indiana is selling electricity produced by a private wind farm.

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