solar energy

wfae.org

Last Fall Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order directing North Carolina to step up its efforts to combat and adapt to Climate Change. This week, state officials are in Asheville gathering public input as they shape a plan to meet those goals.  BPR’s Helen Chickering talks with Department of Environmental Quality Public Information Officer Sharon Martin about the upcoming meeting.

For years, utilities have been testing large-scale batteries to store electricity, especially from wind and solar power. Now Duke Energy is ready to bet on the technology, with plans to spend a half-billion dollars on batteries over the next 15 years in the Carolinas.

Just two weeks after Duke Energy began taking applications for new solar energy rebates, the program has run out of money for homeowners and businesses for this year. 

North Carolina joined California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas in seeing the greatest total increases in solar energy generation from 2008 to 2017, according to a report released Tuesday by Environment North Carolina Policy and Research Center.

Duke Energy will begin offering solar rebates Monday in North Carolina. Solar energy advocates say it could help speed installations of rooftop solar panels.

Duke Energy says it expanded renewable energy generation by about 19 percent in 2017. That's according to the company's annual sustainability report out Monday morning.

Associated Press

North Carolina's highest court is deciding whether a clean-energy advocacy group illegally sold solar power to a church as part of its plan to undercut the monopoly of the state's electric utilities.

The state Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday on whether it's legal for anyone other than a public utility to sell electricity in North Carolina.

Duke Energy customers in North Carolina will be able to get rebates of up to $6,000 each beginning this summer for installing solar panels on their homes.  The four-year, $62 million rebate program was approved by state regulators last week. It's required under a 2017 state law designed to keep solar power growing in North Carolina.

The South Carolina House of Representatives has taken a surprise step and killed a solar energy bill that passed a key vote last week.

The proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline promises to bring huge quantities of cheap natural gas to North Carolina, which could slow growth for solar power.

North Carolina is technically the second largest producer of solar energy in America. N.C. State University Energy Economist Harrison Fell explained the state is capable of running seven percent of the energy grid on solar. But, of course, it's not always sunny.

Duke Energy has proposed a new solar rebate program for homeowners and small businesses in North Carolina - something required as part of the state's new renewable energy law that took effect Jan. 1. 

On a country road south of Monroe in Union County, near a golf course and soybean fields, is a new kind of farm - a solar farm.  This spring, Duke Energy began generating electricity from 684,000 solar panels here, the largest solar farm in the Charlotte region and one of the largest in the state.

Updated 7:10 p.m.

A North Carolina environmental group is asking the NC Supreme Court to decide whether it's legal for it to install solar panels on a church rooftop, then sell electricity to the church.  NC WARN is appealing a 2-1 ruling against it last month by the NC Court of Appeals.

WRAL

A divided North Carolina appeals court says a clean-energy advocacy group can't install solar panels on a church roof and charge for the electricity generated.

The state Court of Appeals panel split 2-1 Tuesday, with the majority ruling in favor of Duke Energy's legal monopoly to sell electricity to most of the state. The split means a state Supreme Court appeal is possible.

Duke Energy is preparing for a drastic loss of solar energy during the eclipse later this month.

State lawmakers are quickly advancing a bill that would overhaul North Carolina's regulations on solar energy production. 

Cape Lookout Lighthouse Switches To Solar

May 9, 2017

The Cape Lookout Lighthouse on the Crystal Coast will switch to a solar-powered system this week.

The North Carolina Department of Revenue gave a record number of tax credits last year for renewable energy use.

Pexels

'Sustainability' is the big buzzword in Buncombe County government this year.  This week, county commissioners passed three measures dealing with sustainability.  They include creating a county government office focusing solely on sustainability efforts, as well as replacing of 47-thousand light fixtures at schools and a new solar energy farm near a landfill in Woodfin.

Duke Energy has put out a call to renewable energy developers for new projects in the western part of the state. It's part of the company's push to meet a state mandate to generate more energy from sources other than fossil fuels.

Duke Energy's commercial energy division has bought six solar projects in Georgia. Duke Energy Renewables acquired the sites from solar developer SolAmerica Energy of Atlanta for an undisclosed sum.

Duke Energy has reached an agreement with developers of large solar farms that could limit where they build in North Carolina.  But officials say new procedures won't slow the growth of solar here.

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

An opponent of the Duke Energy plan to convert its coal-fired plant in Asheville to natural gas says the plan would be a disaster in the fight against climate change.  Dr.

North Carolina solar projects are big winners in the U.S. Department of Agriculture loan guarantees for renewable energy projects. In all, the USDA today awarded $43 million worth of loan guarantees to projects scattered across the country. But North Carolina was the big winner, as seven projects here pulled in more than half the total.

  A bill that would have banned wind farms across much of North Carolina died when the state legislature adjourned last week, but several lawmakers said Thursday they'll reintroduce it next year.  

The North Carolina Senate approved a bill Monday that would ban wind farms across much of the state. The "Military Operations Protection Act," which passed 33-14, would not allow wind turbines in areas with military training flights.

Lawmakers in the state Senate have passed a bill that would prohibit wind farms from being built in most of central and eastern North Carolina. Bill sponsor Sen. Harry Brown (R-Onslow) says the measure protects airspace the state's military bases use in training exercises.

Solar developers are calling on Duke Energy and the General Assembly to continue a tax cut they say is key to their future. When combined with a 30 percent federal tax break, the state’s 35 percent tax credit has propelled North Carolina to become one of the top four states in the country for installed solar capacity, behind only California, Arizona, and New Jersey. That credit is set to end in December. The state House budget includes an extension; the Senate does not.

ncsolarnow.com

Updated Tuesday 6:10 am

Hundreds of North Carolina small business owners and solar power workers are coming to Raleigh to talk to and hear from legislators.

General Assembly leaders were scheduled to speak Tuesday to National Federation of Independent Business members visiting the Legislative Building. The federation has been pleased with the state's recent repayment of $2.8 billion in debt owed the federal government for unemployment benefits. It means unemployment insurance taxes that business pays will fall.

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