Archive for October, 2013

Southeast CHP Technical Assistance Partnership (CHP TAP) Launched at NC Solar Center / NC State University

Posted on: October 29th, 2013 by shannon No Comments

Regional partnership will provide technical assistance on CHP for end-users and other stakeholders, including communities

Raleigh, NC – This week, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the launch of seven regional Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnerships  (CHP TAPs) to support businesses and communities in understanding the benefits of developing CHP. The CHP TAPs support DOE in leading the regional and state deployment of CHP technologies to address “a number of our national priorities including improving the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing, increasing energy efficiency, reducing emissions, enhancing our energy infrastructure, improving energy security and growing our economy.” [1]One of these regional partnerships, the Southeast CHP Technical Assistance Partnership, is located at the North Carolina Solar Center at NC State University.  The Southeast CHP TAP will offer information on best practices for CHP project financing, management and state policies, market analysis tools and resources and technical site evaluations.

CHP is a significant resource that many industries and institutions in the Southeast U.S. already use to efficiently generate onsite power and thermal energy.  By lowering energy consumption and improving the bottom line, CHP strengthens manufacturing competitiveness while reducing harmful emissions.

CHP technologies can also help strengthen energy infrastructure by providing sites and communities the capability to maintain power during severe weather events.  Several sites in the Southeast in the hospital sector, including Shands Cancer Hospital in Gainesville, Florida and Baptist Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi, have CHP systems that have helped them continue their services during hurricane events, including Hurricane Katrina.

Recognizing the value of CHP, President Obama issued an Executive Order in 2012, establishing a national goal of developing 40 gigawatts of new CHP capacity by 2020 – a 50 percent increase from what is installed today.  The Southeast CHP TAP is supporting this national goal.

The Southeast U.S. has a significant amount of potential CHP to be developed, and the Southeast CHP TAP’s services are directed at identifying cost-effective CHP installations and assisting in developing the market for them.   The Southeast region covers the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
For further information on the Southeast CHP TAP, visit


See Additional information on the Energy Department’s broader efforts on CHP at



Shannon Helm, 919-423-8340,

Isaac Panzarella, 919-515-0354,

[1] Combined Heat and Power: A Clean Energy Solution. August 2012. US DOE and US EPA.

Industry Experts, Local Officials Conclude Input on Guidance for Solar Projects

Posted on: October 29th, 2013 by shannon No Comments


Final Working Group meeting clears the path for production of a template solar ordinance


RALEIGH – The NC Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) and the NC Solar Center hosted a final working group meeting on October 28, 2013 that was part of a months-long process to guide the creation of a template ordinance for solar energy projects. The template ordinance addresses some of the most common considerations that arise in the permitting of solar energy facilities. It is intended to offer a path that could facilitate solar project development for companies and landowners while simultaneously creating a framework for local governments to ensure the safeguarding of local values and interests.

At the final working group meeting solar industry representatives, legal experts, developers, local and state government officials and other stakeholders sought ways to address and incorporate the latest comments received on the template ordinance draft. Some of those comments came out of the fifth and final regional public forum that NCSEA and the Solar Center held in Charlotte, NC on October 18, 2013 to spur discussion on the topic and solicit feedback on the current draft. Through the public forums and the working group sessions, NCSEA and the Solar Center encouraged participants to identify and put forward information on solar project permitting and development that can serve as useful guidance for parties dealing with these issues, but they stopped short of proposing that the resulting template ordinance be taken as a prescriptive approach.

“The template is solely a guideline for local governments that wish to design a solar ordinance and need a model that is uniquely relevant to the state,” said Michael Fucci, Regulatory and Market Analyst for NCSEA. “The industry is assisted because companies could rely on the template in jurisdictions where a lack of understanding of how to regulate solar development could otherwise create a significant barrier to entry.

“Even before the draft template has been completed we have already seen demand for it from cities and counties developing their own solar ordinances,” noted Tommy Cleveland, Renewable Energy Project Coordinator for the NC Solar Center. “This is an early indication of the demand for a model ordinance. We hope and expect that there will be significant use of this first-of-its kind template in NC, and perhaps also in surrounding states, once the final version is published.”

The final version is expected to be published before the end of the year.


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 visit: Twitter: @NCSolarCenter


About the NC Sustainable Energy Association:
Founded in 1978, the NC Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit membership organization of individuals, businesses, government and non-profits working to ensure a sustainable future by promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency in North Carolina through education, public policy and economic development. Learn more at



For Immediate Release – October 29, 2013
Contact: Lowell Sachs,, 919-832-7601 Ext.117
Shannon Helm,, 919-423-8340

Mobile CARE Awards Recognize Transportation Emission Reduction Efforts in North Carolina

Posted on: October 16th, 2013 by shannon No Comments


Raleigh, N.C. – The seventh annual North Carolina Mobile Clean Air Renewable Energy (CARE) awards were announced this week as part of the North Carolina Solar Center’s 25th Anniversary Celebration held at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ Nature Research Center in Raleigh, NC. The Mobile CARE awards recognize transportation emission reduction efforts that are advancing alternative fuel and transportation technology activities in North Carolina.

The Mobile CARE awards are part of a $6.2 million, three-year Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) project lead by the N.C. Solar Center at N.C. State University with federal funding provided by the N.C. Department of Transportation. The project focuses on three activities: education and outreach, emission reducing sub-awards and recognition of exemplary efforts. A panel of judges representing the N.C. Department of Transportation, State Energy Office and The Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Division of Air Quality reviewed two dozen nominations to select the five 2013 award winners.

Candidates were sought in four main categories: Individual, Fleet, Technology or Fuel Provider and Policy or Organization. This year the judges selected two individuals Rich Cregar and Bill Eaker for their considerable commitment to and experience with alternative fuel and advanced vehicle technology education and outreach. Frito-Lay is a company that is exemplifying the success of implementing compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles into a large private fleet. Crucial to Frito-Lay’s national plan to implement CNG vehicles in their distribution fleet has been their Charlotte distribution center under the direction of Ronnie Kidd. This center currently operates 10 Freightliner CNG trucks with plans on doubling this by the end of the year. Mecklenburg County’s AeroGRADE project focuses on the reduction of emissions through repower and replacement of diesel engines on ground support equipment at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. AeroGRADE has worked with U.S. Airways, Inc. and Piedmont Airways, Inc. to fund the upgrades and replacements for 66 ground support equipment projects, include zero emission electric equipment. Mainor Legacy Ventures was awarded in the technology/fuel provider category for bringing cleaner burning renewable based fueling opportunities to rural North Carolina. In 2011, Mainor opened Magnolia Marketplace, a full service fueling station and restaurant located off I-40 in Duplin County.  This is the only fueling station in this area to sell E85.

Learn more about the NC Mobile CARE awards visit:



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

Anne Tazewell, N.C. Solar Center, 919-513-7831,


About the North Carolina Solar Center


Created in 1988, the North Carolina Solar Center, as part of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University (NCSU), works closely with state and local government and the renewable energy industry. It manages and maintains the NCSU Solar House and serves as a resource for innovative, green energy technologies through research and demonstration, technical assistance, education, outreach and training. It also administers the Database of Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), a resource providing financial incentives and policies. For more information please visit:


Forum for the Development of a Template Solar Ordinance for North Carolina – Charlotte 10/18

Posted on: October 3rd, 2013 by shannon No Comments

(Presented jointly by the
NC Sustainable Energy Association & NC Solar Center)

Friday, October 18, 2013 | 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Central Piedmont Community College
Harris Conference Center
3216 CPCC Harris Campus Drive
Charlotte, NC 28208


Join the NC Sustainable Energy Association and the NC Solar Center at our upcoming Template Solar Ordinance Forum in Charlotte on October 18th. Sponsored by the CPCC Center for Sustainability, this is the fifth and final forum to gather input on drafting a template solar ordinance for local communities. The event engages attendees from government, the solar industry, non-profits, and the general public in a dynamic and constructive exchange concerning the solar development process and yields insightful comments that will help to inform the drafting of the template ordinance.

North Carolina has experienced dynamic growth in solar photovoltaic system development; much of it in rural areas of North Carolina where jobs have been created and tax bases have grown. Still, there is limited education for the general public, land owners, and local governments on facilitating this type of development in a way that harmonizes with local needs. Though some towns and counties have already passed solar ordinances to provide a useful guide for the development of solar projects, many others have not. This forum series offers a chance for local education and discussion on solar development, as well as an opportunity for all stakeholders to provide input to the drafting of the template solar ordinance for North Carolina. The template solar ordinance will be available this fall at which time it can be adopted in full by counties and municipalities across the state, or it can be adapted to fit the particular needs of an area. We encourage your attendance at this dynamic and informative event.

Seating is Limited: Register Today


Live text polling will take place throughout the event to inform the drafting of a template solar ordinance for North Carolina communities to adopt.


Benefits of Attendance
  • Gain an understanding of local development and permitting processes.
  • Learn about stakeholder values regarding solar energy facilities and land use.
  • Learn how solar affects local communities.
  • Explore best practices for solar siting.
  • Network with energy leaders, consumers, planners and many others.
  • Participate in break-out session and panel discussion.
  • Inform the process of developing a template ordinance for solar energy facilities in North Carolina for local governments.
  • Hear from experienced individuals who own land and knowledgeable professionals from an array of backgrounds.


Attendee Profile
  • Electric Utilities and Independent Power Producers
  • Local, State and Federal Government Officials and Staff
  • Clean Energy Business Owners and Employees
  • Planning Agencies, Energy Advisors and Consultants
  • Clean Energy Architects, Engineers and Construction Representatives
  • Community College and University Researchers
  • Commercial and Industrial Energy Customers
  • Clean Energy Technology Adopters, Site Owners and Managers
  • Manufacturers of Renewable Energy Systems
  • Clean Energy System Integrators
  • Start-up Entrepreneurs


For General Information on Public Fora or the Drafting of the Template Solar Ordinance, contact:

Tommy Cleveland, PE
Solar Energy Engineer
North Carolina Solar Center
N.C. State University
919.515.9432 (office)


Michael Fucci
Policy and Market Analyst
NC Sustainable Energy Association,
Mobile: (302) 584-4152

The N.C. Solar Center celebrates 25 years with energy policy forum and reception

Posted on: October 3rd, 2013 by shannon No Comments


Join us for a panel discussion that will focus on disruptive challenges faced by the electric utility sector, and how these disruptions are likely to affect the utility business model. The forum will include a keynote presentation from Peter Kind, consultant to Edison Electric Institute (EEI), and a discussion including panelists:

Chris Ayers, N.C. Utilities Commission Public Staff
Rob Caldwell, Duke Energy
Allen Burchett, ABB
Thad Culley, Keyes, Fox & Wiedman, LLP


A reception will immediately follow. During the evening, Tony Tata, N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary, will be presenting the 2013 Mobile CARE awards to recognize individual and organizational efforts in NC aimed at reducing transportation-related emissions, promoting fuel diversity and fuel economy.

We look forward to celebrating with our stakeholders that have helped make the Solar Center what we are today!


Date: Monday, October 14, 2013


Location: Nature Research Center, downtown Raleigh


Time: Forum 2:00pm-5:30pm; Reception 5:30pm-7:30pm




Interested in sponsoring? Please email Shannon Helm or call 919-423-8340.


Many thanks to our sponsors for their support!!