Clean Power solar panels, north carolina utility-scale

Published on July 4th, 2014 | by Jake Richardson


80 MW Solar Power Plant Approved For North Carolina

July 4th, 2014 by  

Innovative Solar Systems has had its 80 MW solar power plant approved for interconnection by Duke Energy. When the plant is operational, energy from it will be sent to the Duke grid.

solar panels, north carolina

According to SEIA, about 335 MW of solar was installed in North Carolina in 2013. The total number of megawatts of solar installed in the state has been estimated at 592, which ranks North Carolina in fourth place nationally.

A 40 MW plant is owned and operated by Apple Computer to power one of its data centers. A 17.2 megawatt solar power plant is located in Davidson County and was constructed by SunEdison.

Last year, it was reported that construction on a 100 MW solar power plant in Duplin County, North Carolina would begin.

Duke Energy also owns some of the most polluting conventional power plants. Even so, North Carolina is doing far better in solar technology than South Carolina, which is one of the lowest ranked states in the nation on that measure.

In fact, North Carolina is a regional leader for solar power, “Perhaps another surprise high-finisher, North Carolina takes top place in the South, its 3.35 suns far outpacing most of the state’s regional neighbors. When you peek at that big colored board at the top of this post, you might wonder why North Carolina can get into our Top 15 without that much green across its row. But pause in that state rebate column, and you’ll have your answer – at nearly half the total average price of a residential solar power system, North Carolina’s up-front rebate program is one of the best in the nation.”

It may be unfair to compare the two Carolinas though they have similar names and are neighbors, because the northern version is home to the Research Triangle. The presence of UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University and N.C. State combined with various technology companies is likely to have some impact on the local culture’s receptivity to innovation.

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  • Offgridman

    This is obvious even on the smaller scale. Living in Tennessee a mile from the state line with North Carolina, the 15 mile trip east to the nearest small city in NC there are two solar farms. The 45 mile ride to the west to Chattanooga and you don’t see any. Perhaps there are some over around Chattanooga, because they do make a big deal over their Fibre optic grid and modernization, but nothing that is obviously seen.

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