Archive for April 24th, 2014

N.C. Solar Center Releases Residential Customer Guides to Going Solar

Posted on: April 24th, 2014 by shannonhelm No Comments


Raleigh, N.C. – As part of its work under the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership, the N.C. Solar Center today announces the release of two new original resources: A Residential Customer’s Guide to Going Solar: Duke Energy Carolinas version and A Residential Customer’s Guide to Going Solar: Duke Energy Progress version.

North Carolina was ranked second in the nation for installed solar capacity in 2013, installing 400 MW of new capacity and climbing up three places from 2012 (according to the NPD Solarbuzz North American PV Markets Quarterly report). Most of this capacity in North Carolina comes from utility-scale solar installations, which highlights an opportunity to advance solar even more in the state by focusing on rooftop installations. These guides will support this effort by educating customers about solar and clarifying many of the misconceptions about the cost of going solar.

The guides focus on explaining, in easy to understand terms, the different financial options available to homeowners interested in going solar. These are broken up into incentives that reduce the upfront cost of going solar, such as tax credits and Duke Energy Progress’ SunSense program, and payback options that credit you for the energy produced by your solar photovoltaic (PV) system, like net metering and N.C. GreenPower.

In addition to a description of these options, the guides include a detailed analysis of the monthly and long-term utility bill savings that each option provides to the typical homeowner, using data specific to North Carolina cities. This allows customers to get an idea of how much a solar system costs in their particular region after all available incentives are factored in, as well as what kind of utility bill savings a typical PV owner in their area sees.

Overall, the guides show that with an average-sized residential system at typical market prices, customers of Duke Energy in North Carolina can save up to an average of $55/ month for the next 25 years on their utility bill with a system that can cost as little as $4,000, after incentives.

Versions of the guides can be viewed here: Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress. For more information about the Department of Energy’s SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership, please visit


About the North Carolina Solar Center

The North Carolina Solar Center, as part of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University advances a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices, and policies. It serves as a resource for innovative, green energy technologies through technology demonstration, technical assistance, outreach and training. For more information about the N.C. Solar Center visit: Twitter: @NCSolarCenter


Media Contact: Shannon Helm, N.C. Solar Center, 919-423-8340,

Durham school’s solar project draws attention from politicos

Posted on: April 24th, 2014 by shannonhelm No Comments


Can hanging out with local fourth graders inspired by solar power change the way Washington addresses the energy sector? Maybe.

Durham’s Central Park School for Children recently teamed up with King Brothers Electric Co. and Carolina Solar Energy to install a solar panel unit on the school’s roof, and next is a wind turbine.

Aaron Sebens’ fourth grade class recently toured one of Carolina Solar Energy’s utility-scale solar farms. The Durham-based solar energy company, which has eight utility-scale projects in surrounding counties, draws power across 30 or more acres of panels at a time. The small business employs four people and uses contractors for installations.

“We helped (the school) figure out what permitting it needed,” says Carson Harkrader of Carolina Solar Energy. “We acted as an adviser.”

Environment North Carolina, a statewide, citizen-funded environmental group, brought N.C. Congressmen G.K. Butterfield and David Price to the school on Wednesday to see the kids’ energy project, in the hopes they would take the kids’ message to Washington, D.C.

“Through this project and campaign, these young people showed us that using solar energy and finding solutions to meet our country’s energy needs is achievable when communities work together,” Butterfield says. “Renewable energy and energy diversity are critical to our future global competitiveness.”

To fund the project, the class launched a Kickstarter campaign and raised $5,800.


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