State Solar Policy

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North Carolina Solar

North Carolina’s solar industry is growing quickly thanks in part to the state’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) that allowed clean energy companies to compete utilities and offer consumers choice in their energy supply. 

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Facts on the North Carolina Solar Industry

  • There are currently more than 188 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in North Carolina, employing 6,000 people.
  • In 2015, North Carolina installed 1,134 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking it second nationally.
  • The 2,087 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 223,000 homes.
  • 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.
  • Installed solar photovoltaic system prices in the U.S. have dropped steadily- by 6% from last year and 48% from 2010.

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Notable Installations in North Carolina

  • Dogwood Solar was completed in 2013 by developer Duke Energy.  This photovoltaic project has the capacity to generate 20 MW of electricity-- enough to power over 2,200 North Carolina homes.
  • Several large retailers in North Carolina have gone solar, including Apple, Verizon, SAS and IKEA. Apple has installed one of the largest corporate photovoltaic systems in the state with 20 MW of solar capacity at their location in Maiden.
  • At 20 MW, Capital Partners Solar Project is among the largest solar installations in North Carolina.  Completed in 2015 by SunEnergy1, this photovoltaic project has enough electric capacity to power more than 2,100 homes.

Solar Companies in North Carolina

There are currently more than 188 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in North Carolina.  These companies provide a wide variety of solar products and services ranging from solar system installations to the manufacturing of components used in photovoltaic panels.  These companies can be broken down across the following categories: 34 manufacturers, 14 manufacturing facilities, 76 contractor/installers, 22 project developers, 15 distributors and 42 engaged in other solar activities including financing, engineering and legal support.

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How much do solar panels cost in North Carolina? 

Solar panel costs have fallen significantly in the last 5 years and now installing solar panels can be one of the best investments you can make for your home. There are also now a lot of products on the market utilizing sophisticated financing vehicles to make solar panels for your home affordable. This website will show you the average retail price of installing home solar panels in North Carolina.

Solar rebates and solar tax credits in North Carolina.

Solar incentives are offered at the utility, county, state and federal level. These solar incentives can take various forms including solar tax credits, up front solar rebates, premium feed in tariffs (known as net metering) or solar production incentives.The eligibility and rules for each incentive program can vary greatly. This solar panel calculator allows you to enter your address and it will tell you what solar incentives will apply at your house and the value of these if you go solar.

Finding the right solar company for you:

There are many solar companies in North Carolina offering a wide variety of brands and options. This consumer reviews website will show you the consumer ratings of each solar installer that services your area and will also show you what brands of solar panels.

North Carolina State Solar Policy Resources

North Carolina Energy Division - Find a wide variety of information on state government energy programs, policy, projects, energy-saving strategies and energy-related statistics

North Carolina Utilities Commission – Learn about the governing body that regulates the electricity rates and services of North Carolina public utilities

North Carolina General Assembly – Track pending legislation affecting solar energy, locate and contact individual legislators, and stay up to date on current legislative issues in North Carolina

NC Sustainable Energy Association - Learn about ways you can advocate for clean energy in North Carolina

DSIRE Incentives Database - North Carolina – Search a public clearinghouse for specific solar energy incentives in North Carolina and across the United States

U.S. Energy Information Administration - North Carolina State Profile – Explore official energy statistics, including data on electricity supply and demand, from the U.S. government