solar

Ben Bradford / WFAE

In the span of five years, the solar industry in North Carolina has grown from nearly non-existent to fourth-largest in the nation, behind California, Arizona, and New Jersey. The pace is accelerating, with solar capacity set to more than double in the state, at least this year. The state’s powerful electric utilities are pushing changes that could blot out the industry in North Carolina.


NC Renewable Energy, And Surcharges, Set To Rise

Jul 1, 2014
Duke Energy/Flickr

Duke Energy reports it cost about $30 million to comply with North Carolina’s renewable energy requirement last year. As that requirement doubles next year, Duke is petitioning for an increase in rates.


TW Buckner https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ / Flickr

UNC Charlotte is getting money from the U.S. Department of Energy to update its engineering program in an effort to help modernize the power grid.

The five-year project is in collaboration with three other universities.


City Cancels Airport Solar Farm

Mar 11, 2014
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Flickr

The City of Charlotte has canceled its plan for an ambitious solar power project at Charlotte-Douglas airport, at least for now. Airport officials say new construction and old bonds make the project unfeasible.


A new report shows North Carolina becoming a bigger player in the solar energy market. The firm NPD Solarbuzz says North Carolina created 400MW (megawatts) of new solar capacity. That’s enough to account for 10 percent of all new solar in the U.S. and Canada. Analyst Michael Barker says it’s a ramp up from previous years.

"One of the big findings was just how quickly the North Carolina market has grown in 2013," Barker says. "Climbing from the 5th largest U.S. market to the 2nd largest U.S. market."

Duke Renewables President Talks Solar Prospects

Dec 23, 2013
Duke Energy Renewables

Duke Energy is not known for embracing renewable energy in North Carolina. About one percent of the Duke Energy Progress’ and Duke Energy Carolinas’ electric capacities in the state come from renewables—mostly solar, as well as a small amount of wind and biomass. Duke’s favored plan projects that number to rise to just 3 percent, 15 years from now. At the same time, Duke has a subsidiary business solely focused on developing and selling renewable energy across the country. WFAE’s Ben Bradford spoke to the president of Duke Energy Renewables for a businessman’s perspective on the green revolution.


Ben Bradford / WFAE

When you look out the airplane window as you fly into Charlotte, the trees thin, the Uptown skyline rises into view, and the buildings of West Charlotte grow larger, as your plane drops altitude. The City of Charlotte hopes to add solar panels glinting across the airport’s parking lots and in-between the runways to that view. The city is soliciting bids for an ambitious solar project at the airport.

North Carolina Utilities Commission

Over the next 15 years, Duke Energy plans to increase how much it relies on renewable energy only modestly—from 1 percent next year to just 2 percent in 2028. The utility is concentrating on natural gas.

This is part of Duke’s annual filing with state regulators, where the utility maps out how it plans to provide energy to North Carolina customers.

UNC Charlotte Places 13th At Solar Decathlon

Oct 14, 2013
Carol Anna/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

UNC Charlotte's solar house, UrbanEden, placed 13 out of 19th in the 2013 Solar Decathlon in Irvine, Calif., that ended this past weekend, but the team went home with the People's Choice Award.

Team Austria won first place in the competition, the University of Nevada Las Vegas won second and the Czech Republic won third. 

UNC Charlotte Team Ready For Solar Decathlon Judging

Oct 3, 2013
Meg Whalen/UNC Charlotte

The UNC Charlotte Solar Decathlon Team is one of 19 teams chosen from all over the world to compete in a U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition.  

For the last two weeks, the team has been putting its house back together after it was taken apart to be shipped from Charlotte to Irvine, California. Michelle Todd is one of two dozen UNC Charlotte students and faculty members at the competition.

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