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.
Facts on the North Carolina Solar Industry
There are currently more than 161 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in North Carolina, employing 3,100 people.
In 2013, North Carolina installed 335 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking it 3rd nationally.
The 722 MW of solar energy currently installed in North Carolina ranks the state 4th in the country in installed solar capacity. There is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 79,000 homes.
In 2013, $787 million was invested in North Carolina to install solar for home, business and utility use. This represents a 156% increase over the previous year, and is expected to grow again this year.
The price to install solar on homes and businesses has dropped steadily across the country — by 8% from last year and 34% from 2010.
View more solar industry data.
Notable Installations in North Carolina
- Apple Data Center Solar Farm in Maiden was completed in 2013 by developer SunPower. This photovoltaic project has the capacity to generate 20 MW of electricity-- enough to power over 2,200 North Carolina homes.
- Another utility-scale project, Capital Partners Solar Project, is currently under construction in North Carolina and is scheduled to come online in 2015. Developed by SunEnergy1, this 52 MW photovoltaic project will generate enough electricity to power 5,700 homes.
- At 20 MW, Dogwood Solar Power Project in Halifax is among the largest solar installations in North Carolina. Completed in 2014 by Duke Energy, this photovoltaic project has enough electric capacity to power more than 1,900 homes.
See our solar installations maps.
Solar Companies in North Carolina
There are currently more than 161 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: 29 manufacturers, 13 manufacturing facilities, 72 contractor/installers, 20 project developers, 10 distributors and 30 engaged in other solar activities including financing, engineering and legal support.
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