Duke rolls out $62M solar rebate for North Carolina customers
- Duke Energy proposed a $62 million rebate program in North Carolina that it anticipates will grow rooftop solar by 200% over the next five years. Currently, Duke has 6,000 solar customers on its system with a capacity of more than 50 MW.
- The rebate would be $0.60/watt for residential solar systems up to 10 kWh, and an average rooftop installation would see savings of about $4,800. Duke is also offering a smaller rebate for non-residential customers and a larger rebate for non-profits.
- The solar rebate program, which still needs approval from North Carolina Utilities Commission, is the first of three programs Duke will introduce this year under the Competitive Energy Solutions for North Carolina law, House Bill 589, which was passed last year.
North Carolina is the No. 2 state for solar energy, and legislation passed last year aimed to build on that success. Duke's proposal offers customers flexibility on financing, and entices schools and churches with a "enhanced" rebate. Customers will also have a solar leasing option under Duke's proposal.
HB 589, which included an 18-month wind moratorium, set a North Carolina solar deployment target of 6,800 MW by 2020 and offered lower-cost financing to developers. The utility will recover the $62 million
Residential customers could see rebates up to a maximum of $6,000 under the proposal. Non-residential customers would be eligible for a $0.50/watt rebate and for nonprofits the rebate rises to $0.75/watt, for systems up to 100 kW. In addition to the rebates, Duke outlined two other programs it will roll out this year in an effort to help customers adopt solar.
A Shared Solar program will offer a community alternative for customers who cannot install or do not want solar panels on their property. Duke's Green Source Advantage is an expansion of a pilot program being run by Duke Energy Carolinas, and will allow large customers to secure solar power to offset the amount of power purchased from Duke.
According to Duke spokesman Randy Wheeless, the utility expects to sign 5,000 customers over the next five years.
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