Duke Energy Purchases Solar Project In Tucson

Duke Energy Renewables has purchased a solar power project at the University of Arizona's technology park that is expected to begin commercial operation in the next week.

Duke Energy Renewables announced Thursday that it purchased the 6-megawatt Gato Montes Solar Power Project from AstroSol Inc. The array consists of 48,000 thin-film photovoltaic panels.

Tucson Electric Power Co. will buy the electricity produced by the array under a 20-year agreement.

The Gato Montes project marks Duke Energy Renewables' fifth solar project in Arizona in two years. In all, the company will have 37 megawatts of solar energy production in the state by the end of the year.

Duke also has solar installations in Mohave, Pima and Yavapai counties.

Since 2007, the company says it has invested more than $2.5 billion to grow its commercial wind and solar business.