- North Carolina's energy policies, large academic institutions and investment mix have made the state a leader in solar energy, according to new analysis from Pew Charitable Trusts. North Carolina now stands third in terms of overall PV capacity installed and private investment in solar, behind California and Arizona.
- Under a portfolio standard passed in 2007, the state is requiring electric cooperatives and municipal utilities to obtain 10% of their power from renewable sources or efficiency by 2018. Investor-owned utilities have a similar goal of sourcing 12.5% green power by 2021.
- North Carolina installed 343 MW of renewable power last year, 335 MW of which was solar generation.
North Carolina has made huge gains in solar energy, ranking fifth nationally in homes powered by solar and third in overall installed PV capacity, according to new analysis from Pew Charitable Trusts. Not only does the state lead the Southeast region in solar installation, but legislative attempts to remove the state's 2007 renewable portfolio standards failed in 2013 -- the same year the state installed 335 MW of solar capacity.
Pew's report notes that North Carolina has built or started planning approximately 100 solar farms since adopting the rules in 2007, when previously there were none. And according to projections from Navigant Research, the state's focus on solar is likely to continue. The state installed 537 MW of utility-scale, commercial, and residential solar from 2009 to 2013, and analysts are forecasting almost 2.6 GW over the next decade.
Private investment in North Carolina solar projects totaled $2.1 billion over the past five years, according to Pew's analysis, "and will generate another $7.8 billion over the next decade (2014 to 2023)."