Duke Energy’s Carolina utilities are top 10 in the nation for generating solar power, according to a new report released Monday.
The Solar Electric Power Association lists Duke Energy Progress at #5 in the nation and Duke Energy Carolinas at #10. In total, the utilities have just under 200 megawatts of solar power—an amount that is still about half what one typical coal plant generates.
But, the rankings are another indication of solar’s growing role in North Carolina.
A market research firm ranked the state 2nd in North America for new solar last year.
Cory Honeyman, a solar analyst at GTM Research, says North Carolina is attractive to developers, partially because of a relatively generous state tax credit.
“You have this state level incentive that is high enough, when paired with what utilities are willing to pay for that solar power, combined with North Carolina being a somewhat sunnier state,” says Honeyman.
The tax credit is set to expire at the end of 2015, though, a move Duke officials have supported. Before that happens, Duke has announced it plans to double its solar footprint.
The company also has a commercial subsidiary not included in the rankings, which owns another 60 megawatts of power. Duke first began using solar power in 2009.