21617473_10212851243929631_4665252369892326852_n.jpg

North Carolina & Solar Energy

        Clean energy is booming in the United States but in North Carolina the restriction on production and sales of solar energy is making the decision to go solar very difficult. 

       North Carolina is only 1 of 6 states in this country that prohibits 3rd party sales of solar energy. In North Carolina homeowners have to pay out of pockets for their solar panels. Paying for private solar panels is very expensive and out of reach for many private homeowners and business since it is equivalent to purchasing all your electricity upfront for about the next 30 years. On top of this large personal investment North Carolina homeowners then don't get the option to purchase the energy their solar panels produced without going through regulated utility companies like Duke Energy. 

      In other states a 3rd party company pays homeowners to lease their land or rooftop to install solar panels on their property. The company installs and maintains the solar panels. In exchange the homeowner enters into a long-term agreement for energy that is usually sold to them at less expensive rate than the local energy company. However, in North Carolina this is prohibited and only big regulated monopolies like Duke Energy get to sell to customers.

Don't you think solar energy companies deserve a fair and open market to sell their product?

Making the power of the sun accessible to North Carolinians

  • There are currently more than 213 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in North Carolina,employing 5,950 people2.

  • In 2015, North Carolina installed 1,140 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking it second nationally. Installed solar capacity in North Carolina has grown by 187% over the last year. 

  • In 2015, $1.689 billion was invested on solar installations in North Carolina.  This represents a 159% increase over the previous year, and is expected to grow again this year. 

  • The 2,294 MW of solar energy currently installed in North Carolina ranks the state third in the country in installed solar capacity.  There is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 245,000 homes.

  • Over the next five years, North Carolina is expected to install 3,479 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking the state third over that time span. This amount is more than 2 times the amount of solar installed over the last five years.

  • Installed solar PV system prices in the U.S. have dropped steadily- by 12% from last year and 66% from 2010.

  • Growth in solar is led by falling prices

  • Several large retailers in North Carolina have gone solar, including Verizon, SAS, and IKEA. Apple has installed one of the largest corporate photovoltaic systems in the state with 20,000 kW of solar capacity at their location in Maiden

 

North Carolina & Wind Energy

NC Wind Energy Facts

  • North Carolina’s shallow-water wind resources are the best on the Atlantic coast, with 58 GW of available capacity.

  • 58 GW amounts to 130% of the state’s energy demands, which are projected to grow 40% over the next 20 years.

  • $2.35 billion is spent annually on the importation of coal into our state, amounting to 55% of our electricity generation.

  • The offshore wind industry stands to create 45,000 jobs in construction and 10,000- 20,0000 jobs in permanent maintenance over the next 20 years, delivering $22 billion in total economic benefit to our state.

Abundant Potential Energy in Our Own Backyard

        North Carolina has more potential offshore wind energy than other Atlantic state of the United States. North Carolina has the opportunity to harness this abundant and strong offshore wind resource to accommodate its growing energy demand. Utilizing this abundant wind resource can be done all while protecting the air, water, and natural beauty, unlike other energy sources currently used.

        However, with all this potential energy in our own backyard North Carolina is resistant to progress with the technology. The North Carolina General Assembly's current focus is on energy that pollutes the air, water, and threatens our beaches, which is causing North Carolina to fall behind neighboring Atlantic states when it comes to developing wind energy. The wind energy movement is experiencing strong push back from the coal and oil lobby. The coal and oil lobby are urging Congress to let federal tax incentives to expire instead of extending them to support both onshore and offshore wind power production. If these wind energy tax credits are allowed to expire, not only will pollution continue to increase threatening both human and environmental health but over 37,000 jobs would be lost. 

         The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has identified three areas, off the coast of North Carolina, that are favorable for wind energy facilities: Wilmington- West Wind Energy, Wilmington- East Wind Energy, and Kitty Hawk Energy Area (totaling 307,590 acreas).