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Duke Energy: Delivering Breakthrough Power Solutions

Procore sets out to find companies, projects and individuals who stand out for their bold achievements in construction. Of the 27 outstanding finalists selected, nine received the 2022 Trailblazer Award. This article is the third in a series of nine articles spotlighting each honoree.

In 1904, James B. Duke set out with a party to cross the Catawba River in South Carolina The lakes and dams along its shores generate electricity. Since the project, Duke Energy has been working to provide innovative power solutions throughout the United States—even to Walt Disney World.

Today, Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter energy future for customers and communities. The company is also investing in major grid upgrades, expanding battery storage and exploring zero-emissions generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear power.

Their pioneering energy solutions are addressing the unique power needs of the world with complex projects across the country. One such project is the largest floating solar farm in the southeastern United States at Fort Bragg — a first for the Department of Defense.

US Defense The first floating solar facility is located at Fort Bragg. The system provides power to Camp Mackall and during power service outages.

Unprecedented Engineering

In collaboration with Fort Bragg In it, Duke Energy installed a 1.1 MW floating solar installation on Big Mud Lake in Camp Michael, North Carolina. As the utility’s energy services contract (UESC) prime contractor, Duke Energy provided technical and contract oversight for the $36 million project, which focuses on energy resilience and security. Duke Energy partnered with Ameresco and D3Energy to assist with design and delivery.

Fort Bragg owns and operates a solar system paired with a 2 MW battery storage system (bass). The system supplies electricity to Camp Mackall from the local grid and provides power during electrical service outages.

Terri Stubblefield, Senior Commercial Contracts Manager, Duke Energy, is excited to provide the government with a unique renewable energy solution. Stubblefield took over project management in 2018, acting as a liaison between the government and Ameresco, and utilizing Procore to keep communications current.

“We’re really committed to innovative technology, especially when it comes to helping governments,” Stubblefield said. “That’s one of the things we love to do for our clients – provide advanced technical solutions.”

The project team spent a lot of time solving interconnection and technical issues with Fort Bragg. Duke Energy owns the utility grid off customer property, however, the utility at the customer site is privatized.

The project team expended considerable effort to resolve technical challenges in the project requirements, including privatization of the utility connected back to the regulated Duke Energy utility.

The pandemic also presents supply chain and delivery time challenges. For all of these issues, Procore tools are critical to keeping information organized and teams focused on operations driving critical path elements.

Central Source of Truth

The project team utilized the platform as its primary construction Workflow tools. All project records are stored in Procore. Procore is one of the few cloud platforms that meets firewall and other IT security requirements, so it’s available to all stakeholders.

“Procore has been very helpful with our federal partners from a document management standpoint,” explained Stubblefield. “The RFI was generated using the RFI tool to get the right people to ask and answer the questions, and it was very helpful to document those answers.”

Correct information during pre-construction activities Communication and sharing are critical to success. Project teams are forced to use Procore to maintain and reference project metrics, avoiding rework and misunderstandings. Procore’s workflow also helps teams maintain clarity of work status and responsibilities.

“Procore is a single place for communications, document management and records storage,” says Stubblefield. “The government has a lot of cybersecurity and firewalls, so passing files back and forth can be difficult. You have to have a central repository for all this information — and they’ve always been able to use Procore, unlike some of the other platforms.”

Because this is a federal government program, Procore also serves as a clearinghouse for material that has been vetted for release for public consumption. While government projects can be difficult to flow through certain platforms, Procore provides ease of use, essential privacy, and a single source of truth for all stakeholders.

win-win

Duke Energy worked closely with subcontractors Ameresco and D3Energy. Ameresco provided the engineering design and execution expertise needed to perform the contract work. D3Energy is a specialist solar contractor pioneering the installation of solar photovoltaics on bodies of water through non-destructive and habitat-safe solutions. The three companies worked together to overcome new challenges and deliver the largest floating solar system in the southeastern United States.

“Duke Energy’s partnership with Fort Bragg will result in a greater energy efficiency and cost savings base,” said Brian Savoy, Duke Energy’s chief strategy and commercial officer. “We are excited to help keep Fort Bragg at the forefront of renewable energy innovation with this unique floating solar facility.”

A true team effort, the floating solar installation is a testament to Duke Energy’s commitment to delivering Renewable energy, whatever its complexity. Duke Energy pioneered clean energy with this project and continues to innovate for each customer and the unique requirements they place on each job.

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