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 189 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in North Carolina, employing 5,600 people.
- In 2014, North Carolina installed 397 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking it 2nd nationally.
- The 1,088 MW of solar energy currently installed in North Carolina ranks the state fourth in the country in installed solar capacity. There is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 116,000 homes.
- In 2014, $652 million was invested on solar installations in North Carolina.
- Installed solar photovoltaic system prices in the U.S. have dropped steadily - by 6% from last year and 53% from 2010.
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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.
- Several large retailers in North Carolina have gone solar, including Verizon, SAS and Apple. IKEA has installed one of the largest corporate photovoltaic systems in the state with 1 MW of solar capacity at their location in Charlotte.
- 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 1,900 homes.
See our solar installations maps.
Solar Companies in North Carolina
There are currently more than 189 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, 77 contractor/installers, 23 project developers, 15 distributors and 41 engaged in other solar activities including financing, engineering and legal support.
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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