Solar capacity grows statewide – news – wilmington star news – wilmington, nc

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. Electricity origin — In recent years, North Carolina has emerged as a leader in the solar energy market, ranking third nationally for solar capacity behind California and Arizona.

More than 200 solar-related companies exist in the state and approximately 2,436 megawatts of solar power has been installed, enough to power 260,000 homes, according to the Washington D.C.-based Solar Energy Industries Association.

In 2015, North Carolina generated 140 percent more electric power with solar than it did in 2014, placing it among the four highest states for solar energy generation in the nation.

Brunswick, Pender and New Hanover counties, jumping onboard the solar trend, have already approved and permitted 12 solar farms in the area. Electricity in water Six solar farms have been approved in Brunswick County, with one built along Ocean Highway East, four in Pender County, with one under construction near Burgaw, and two already built in New Hanover County near Duke Energy’s Sutton Steam Plant.

Growth of the solar industry has been spurred by the N.C. Electricity word search Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS), said Lexi Rudolph, spokeswoman for the N.C. Electricity experiments for preschoolers Department of Environmental Quality. Electricity and magnetism review North Carolina adopted the standard in 2007, which requires investor-owned utilities to meet up to 12.5 percent of their energy needs through renewable energy resources, such as solar power, or other energy efficiency measures by 2021.

“As the only state in the Southeast with a renewable energy portfolio standard, North Carolina has fostered tremendous growth of the solar energy industry through various incentives,” Rudolph said.

Currently, Rudolph said there is an active 30 percent federal tax credit for solar development. Electricity bill nye Additionally, up until Dec. O goshi 31, 2015, there was a 35 percent state tax credit in place for companies building solar facilities.

Sean Gallagher, vice president of state affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association, a national organization, said the combination of good national policies and favorable state-level policies have “really driven the growth” in North Carolina.

Gallagher also cited the availability of financeable standard contracts with utilities as a major draw for individuals. Electricity outage houston In North Carolina, Gallagher said if an individual has a solar project up to five megawatts, that person can then receive a standard contract to sell power the solar project generates to a utility company. Gas vs electric stove Yet Gallagher said the number of individuals interested in powering their individual homes using rooftop solar in the state is small.

While there are different kinds of solar projects, including rooftop, the solar project most responsible for growth in North Carolina are solar farms, which Gallagher said have had “a lot of benefits for local communities.”

“Farmers who may have found that the tobacco industry isn’t what it used to be may have a new industry they can lease a few acres to,” he said. Gas news today “They get a revenue stream for 20 years.”

Cape Fear Solar Systems LLC, a Wilmington-based solar panel installation company, has installed more than 400 solar systems on commercial and residential buildings and homes in New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender and Onslow counties, as well as in New Bern and Beaufort. C gastritis der antrumschleimhaut Robert Parker, Cape Fear Solar Systems’ project manager, said most of the solar systems are installed on residential rooftops, averaging about 24 solar panels.

Homes are generally fully-supplied with electricity generated by solar energy during the day, Parker said. Static electricity review worksheet Whatever energy costs a homeowner accrues overnight is paid to a regular utility company.

Though the average cost of a good-sized system is about $30,000, Parker said homeowners receive a portion of that money back due to the federal tax credit.

John Donoghue, president of Cape Fear Solar Systems, said when he decided to start the business in Wilmington 10 years ago, he didn’t see much solar in the area.

Donoghue said it’s “tough to say” whether the industry will continue to grow, but he thinks solar is becoming a more viable option for people interested in the green energy source.

Though the amount of electric power generated with solar energy grew from 2014 to 2015, solar energy provided just 1.5 percent of all electricity generated in the state during 2015, Rudolph said.

Brunswick Electric Membership Corp., an energy cooperative, uses two solar farms, one in Brunswick County and the other in Columbus County. Gas stations in texas Each farm has 369 panels for a combined total of 738 panels, said Monte Herring, manager of distributive generation/renewable energy for Brunswick Electric. E85 gas stations colorado The farms were put into operation around January 2015.

While the company used the solar farms to meet the REPS requirement, Herring said Brunswick Electric members were also responsible for initiating the company’s solar use.

Herring said installing solar rooftop panels is expensive, but since the company uses a solar farm it provides a less expensive way “for people to participate in going green.”

Brunswick Electric uses solar energy through a model called community solar. Gas approximation Interested members pay a one-time fee to lease one or more of the solar panels on the solar farm for 20 years. Mafia 2 gas meter The energy produced by those panels is then subtracted from the members’ monthly energy bill.

Herring said the company has about 110 accounts through the program and the average number of panels leased per member is two to three. 1 unit electricity cost in gujarat The most the company has leased to one member so far is ten panels. Electricity reading comprehension The rate is $855 per panel.

Mayhew leased the panels in May and said the benefit so far has been “higher” than what the company estimated, though he expects that number to go down over the winter months. P gaskell Mayhew, of Ocean Isle Beach, said he’s been averaging a $42 credit monthly from the solar panels.

“It’s a good investment,” he said. C gastronomie brignais “It’s also easy, I don’t have to do anything. Gas kansas They take care of the solar panels and just give me credit on each monthly bill.”

Herring said he views the project as a “viable option,” but still expensive for the average member, which accounts for the low usage. Gas efficient cars 2015 Though there is interest from the few dedicated accounts, Herring said in reality, electric bills aren’t high enough to truly necessitate members or other energy consumers to consider other energy options unless they simply want a green alternative.

Brunswick County Commissioner Marty Cooke said he has no issue with solar farms cropping up in the area, likening having a solar farm to having “corn or tobacco on your land.”

“I think solar is fairly inefficient,” he said. 76 gas card login “I honestly think nuclear and coal and natural gas, they’ve always been good energy sources.”

Randy Wheeless, a spokesman for Duke Energy, said the company didn’t have one solar farm in 2009. 2015 electricity increase Today, they have 35 solar farms in North Carolina.

Duke Energy does not have a program in place like community solar, Wheeless said. 9gag instagram logo Instead, it uses a model called “utility-scale” or “large-scale solar,” which Wheeless said Duke Energy found to be a more cost-effective way of building solar.

The way it works is electricity produced by the Duke Energy solar farms goes directly into the company’s power grid, supplementing the company’s other sources of electricity such as natural gas, coal and nuclear.

“With solar, it’s a good complement to the system, but you need the other sources as well because everybody needs electricity 24 hours a day,” Wheeless said.

Duke Energy also has about 4,500 customers using private or rooftop solar, which they can use to generate their own electricity or sell excess electricity back to Duke Energy.

“The economics in North Carolina are a little different than they are in other states, so solar isn’t quite as popular,” he said. Ideal gas questions “The cost of electricity here is a lot less than what it is in New Jersey, California and other states.”

While solar energy is a growing source of clean energy, Rudolph said it is important to consider other clean energy sources as well, such as nuclear.

Rudolph said half of the electricity consumed in North Carolina is generated by carbon-free, zero emissions power generation facilities, with more than 90 percent of the emissions-free electricity being generated by eleven nuclear reactors in North and South Carolina.

On Dec. Grade 9 electricity review 7, Rudolph said the N.C. Physics electricity and magnetism study guide Energy Policy Council approved a motion recommending that the General Assembly determine the best path forward for studying and assessing energy issues in the state.