Archive for 2013

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!!


Solar Center releases new case study, “Harmonizing Solar PV Permitting and Interconnection”

Posted on: September 30th, 2013 by shannon No Comments

The N.C. Solar Center has released a case study focusing on the City of Santa Clara, CA’s streamlined approach to addressing permitting and interconnection. In Santa Clara, rooftop solar PV installers can get one-stop, over-the-counter permitting and interconnection review for residential solar installations under 10kW. This case study was completed as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership (SolarOPs).

Local governments with municipal utilities are uniquely positioned to perform permitting and interconnection reviews (and related inspections) for rooftop solar PV systems in an efficient and cost-effective manner, thereby reducing the “soft costs” associated with the system. Since the entire process is managed by the same municipal government, there exists an excellent opportunity to coordinate the permitting, inspection and interconnection process.

Click here for the full case study.

Forum for the Development of a Template Solar Ordinance for NC – Lumberton, NC on 9/24

Posted on: September 19th, 2013 by shannon No Comments

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

Join the NC Sustainable Energy Association and the NC Solar Center for the fourth in a series of five public for a designed specifically to spark critical information sharing on the technical, social, and environmental aspects of solar projects, with the goal of informing the development of a template solar ordinance for NC.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013 | 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Carolina Civic Center
315 North Chestnut Street
Lumberton, NC  28359


Seating is Limited:   Register today for Lumberton Forum


Please visit the NC Sustainable Energy Association site for an agenda.


Also, please join us in Charlotte for the Final Forum!

Friday, October 18, 2013 | 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Harris Conference Center

3216 Central Piedmont Community College Harris Campus Dr.

Charlotte, NC 28208
Seating is Limited:   Register today for Charlotte Forum


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 begin to provide input to the drafting of the template solar ordinance for North Carolina. The result of this collaborative effort will offer a path that can help all interested parties in North Carolina advance their goals and protect their interests regardless of where they come from or what they hope to achieve.

The template solar ordinance will be available in October and can be adapted and adopted by counties and municipalities across the state.   We encourage your attendance at this dynamic and informative event.

There is also opportunity to begin sharing your thoughts and ideas on this topic through the Institute for Emerging Issues Commons Tool.  In order to provide input through the Commons, interested parties must first register using a quick – and free – process. After registering, people interested in contributing simply log into the Commons site and click on the challenge questions at the bottom of the Working Groups page to get started. Links to other ordinances offered as examples are included on the first Working Groups page as a helpful reference and additional background is available to help guide people through each of the challenge questions as you click through.

To access the IEI Commons online tool, please go to the following link: The landing page will prompt you to log in (or register if you are a first time visitor to the site). From there, you can access the ten challenge statements and begin sharing your ideas.


Benefits of Attendance
  • Increase your understanding of local solar development and permitting processes and issues.
  • 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.
  • Play a part in the process of developing a set of common ‘rules of the road’ for solar energy facilities in North Carolina.
  • 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 Sponsorship Information, contact

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

North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association

302.584.4152 (cell)

Emergency Preparedness Meets Alternative Fuels in First Responder Training

Posted on: September 19th, 2013 by shannon No Comments


The N.C. Solar Center at N.C. State University hosted a two-day training workshop for area first responders as part of the Carolina Blue Skies & Green Jobs Initiative.  The workshop was held September 17th and 18th on the N.C. State University campus.  The objective was to give area emergency response personnel the opportunity to familiarize themselves with, understand the potential hazards unique to, and learn some of the specialized emergency procedures associated with the growing number of alternative fuel vehicles and stations that they may encounter throughout the area. Attendance each day exceeded 50 participants with emergency response personnel coming from as far away as the Piedmont Triad area and the North Carolina coast. In attendance was Robert Shuler Engineering Liaison for the N.C. Department of Insurance and State Fire Marshalls office who noted, “The information presented was excellent.  A lot of the facts were clearly presented and myths dispelled.”

Led by Rich Cregar, an instructor and vehicle technician with over 25 years of  alternative fuels experience,  the workshop was a combination of classroom and hands-on learning with a static vehicle review each day that included propane, natural gas, biodiesel, electric hybrid, plug-in electric hybrid, hydraulic hybrid and electric vehicles. Additional support was provided by Wilson and Nash Community College Fire and Emergency Programs instructors. Both the classroom and vehicle review portions were filmed for future use. “ We intend to work with the State Fire Marshall’s office and N.C. State’s Distance Education Learning Technologies program to package the two-day training  in modular sections  to be posted online, so that emergency personnel can benefit from the training from their desk,”  said Rick Sapienza, workshop lead for the N.C. Solar Center.

The Carolina Blue Skies & Green Jobs Initiative, funded through the U.S. Department of Energy with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, deployed more than 500 alternative fuel vehicles and commissioned more than 140 alternative fueling sites throughout North and South Carolina. The N.C. Solar Center was a principle partner to the project lead by the Triangle Clean Cities Coalition at Triangle J Council of Governments.


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


Media Contact:

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

Coastal Wind Conference Highlights Wind Industry in the Southeast

Posted on: September 10th, 2013 by shannon No Comments
The N.C. Solar Center is a proud partner of the 2nd Annual Conference


Raleigh, N.C. – The Southeastern states from Virginia to Florida are home to over 65 wind related manufacturing facilities that support thousands of wind energy jobs in the Southeast region. These supply chain facilities could expand significantly as land-based and offshore wind developments begin in the region. Besides having a highly-skilled manufacturing base, the Southeast has several other competitive advantages, including the lowest estimated construction cost for offshore wind projects on the East Coast according to the Energy Information Administration. The region is also home to nearly half of the offshore wind resource and five of the six largest electricity markets on the East Coast.

“The Southeast provides an excellent opportunity to continue growing the land-based wind industry in the U.S. and use those experiences to help build a robust offshore industry,” said the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) CEO, Michael Brower.
The following recent activities and announcements highlight the wind industry’s momentum in the region:


  • The Department of Energy’s 2012 Wind Technologies Market Report released this month found that the turbines installed in 2012 have an increased average hub height and rotor diameter than in years past – these developments in land-based turbine technology benefit development in lower wind speed areas like the Southeast region.
  • A North Carolina wind permitting bill, signed into law this May, provides guidelines for developers to obtain a permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for wind farms in the state and stipulates a schedule for public meetings surrounding projects.
  • Georgia Power announced this April that 250 megawatts of wind energy will be purchased from EDP wind farms in Oklahoma starting in January 2016. The electricity provided will be enough to power over 50,000 homes in Georgia Power’s service territory.
  • A South Carolina Supply Chain Survey and Offshore Wind Economic Impact Study released in 2012 estimates an annual average of 3,329 jobs per year with the installation of 1,000 MW off the coast of South Carolina.
  •  The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced in July that the competitive lease sale for Virginia’s Wind Energy Area will be held this September. The area, covering over 112,000 acres, will be auctioned as a single lease.
  • The city of Charleston, S.C., recently passed a resolution recognizing the economic benefits of offshore wind energy and welcoming the industry. With world-class ports & transportation infrastructure, highly-skilled, low-cost labor, and some of the most advanced research facilities in the world, Charleston and other Southeastern coastal cities have what it takes to be leaders in the wind industry supply chain.
  • Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina will unveil a state-of-the-art research vessel, called the Coastal Explorer, this winter. The vessel will be similar to those carrying out survey work for offshore wind projects in Europe and will be a great asset for the offshore wind industry on the East Coast.
  • A Department of Energy fact sheet released in July, Potential Economic Impacts from Offshore Wind in the Southeast Region, applied the new offshore wind Jobs and Economic Development Impacts (JEDI) model to Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The results showed that a “moderate” development scenario would result in over 20,000 construction jobs and 6,700 permanent jobs in the Southeast by 2030.

Industry, policy makers and the public can learn more about wind energy potential and activities in the region during the Southeastern Coastal Wind Conference September 11-12, 2013. The conference, located in North Charleston, S.C., will feature session tracks covering land-based wind, offshore wind and the supply chain. General Sessions will highlight utility involvement in the region and offshore wind strategies from Europe. In addition to educational sessions, attendees will have a chance to view simulations from BOEM’s NC visual simulation study and tour Clemson University’s new Wind Turbine Drive train Testing Facility in North Charleston.

“The conference is a great example of the regional approach that the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition is promoting.” said Brian O’Hara, President of the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition. “By leveraging the strengths of each state, the Southeast is poised to be a major player in the wind energy industry.”  Over 20 organizing partners are engaged in the planning of the conference, including the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). “We look forward to coordinating our efforts on behalf of this promising technology,” said Jeff Anthony, Senior Director of Membership and Business Development at AWEA.

To view the complete agenda and register for the event, please visit

About the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition
The Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition works to advance the coastal and offshore wind industry in the Southeast. We focus on supply chain growth, economic development, job growth, and wind energy development in the region with solutions that are beneficial to industry, beneficial to utilities, and result in net economic benefits to citizens and ratepayers. For more information about the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition visit

About the American Council On Renewable Energy
ACORE, a 501(c) (3) non-profit membership organization, is dedicated to building a secure and prosperous America with clean, renewable energy. ACORE seeks to advance renewable energy through finance, policy, technology, and market development and is concentrating its member focus in 2013 on National Defense & Security, Power Generation & Infrastructure, and Transportation. Additional information is available at

About Clemson University
Ranked as the 25th best national public university by U.S. News & World Report, Clemson is a science- and engineering-oriented college dedicated to teaching, research and service while being named among the best values by Kiplinger magazine in 2013, and SmartMoney in 2012 ranked us No. 7 in student return on investment. Clemson University campus sits on 1,400 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, along the shores of Hartwell Lake. Research extension facilities and economic development hubs are throughout the state of South Carolina — in Greenville, Greenwood, Columbia and Charleston. The research, outreach and entrepreneurial projects led by faculty and students driving economic development and improving quality of life in South Carolina and beyond. In fact, a recent study determined that Clemson has an annual $1.83 billion economic impact on the state.

About the American Wind Energy Association
AWEA is the national trade association of the U.S. America’s wind energy industry, with over 1,300 member companies, including global leaders in wind power and energy development, wind turbine manufacturing, component and service suppliers, and the world’s largest wind power trade show, the AWEA WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition, which takes place next in Las Vegas, May 5-8, 2014. AWEA is the voice of wind energy in the U.S., promoting renewable energy to power a cleaner, stronger America. Look up information on wind energy at the AWEA website. Find insight on industry issues at AWEA’s blog Into the Wind. Join AWEA on Facebook. Follow AWEA on Twitter.

Raleigh to convert more police cars to propane

Posted on: September 5th, 2013 by shannon No Comments


RALEIGH — The city will more than double the number of police vehicles that run on propane, after a two-year test of the cleaner, less-expensive fuel proved successful.

The City Council voted this week to spend $195,000 to convert 30 police vehicles to propane, on top of the 20 patrol cars that already use the fuel.

Those 20 cars are used in the police department’s North District, based on Six Forks Road, where officers have found that the propane performs just as well as gasoline, said Capt. Doug Brugger, district commander.

“It has become so commonplace here, it’s not even an issue,” Brugger said. “The guys don’t even give it any thought.”

But with propane costing less than half as much as gasoline per gallon, the cars have made a difference in the city’s fuel bill. The Raleigh Police Department has used about 92,000 gallons of propane since the test program began in 2011, Brugger said, saving about $126,000 in fuel.

In addition, the city has received a 50-cent-per-gallon federal incentive that has added up to an additional $46,000 windfall for the city, he said.

The city converted the first 10 Ford Crown Victoria patrol cars to propane starting in May 2011 and added 10 a year later. Federal grants paid the $117,000 cost of those conversions, according to the city.

Clean, cheap and U.S.-made

The federal government encourages propane in part because of the pollution benefits. Propane releases 20 to 40 percent less carbon monoxide and about 80 percent less particulate matter than gasoline, according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Energy.

In addition, the vast majority of propane is produced domestically, reducing reliance on imported fuel.

The converted Raleigh police cars are capable of burning both gasoline and propane. The propane tanks are made of quarter-inch steel, Brugger said, making them less vulnerable to puncture than gasoline tanks.

Officers start a cold car with gasoline but switch to propane when the engine warms up and run with propane for the rest of their shift, Brugger said. In emergencies, such as a hurricane, the cars can use both fuel tanks and run for 36 to 40 hours without refueling, according to the city.

The $195,000 approved by the council is already included in the police department budget. It will cover not only the conversion of the vehicles but also installation of storage and maintenance equipment.


Raleigh News & Observer

A North Carolina Template Solar Ordinance Being Developed by NC Stakeholders

Posted on: August 27th, 2013 by shannon No Comments


In July, 2008 the North Carolina Wind Working Group, a coalition of state government, non-profit and wind industry organizations, published a model wind ordinance for NC to provide guidance for communities planning for potential wind energy development.  Seven years later a similar group is working on a model (or template) ordinance for solar.  Solar systems are nothing new in the state, but the size and number of systems being installed recently is something quite new. Today in communities across North Carolina there are small and large solar energy systems being installed every month, or even every day. Some cities and counties across the state have solar specific ordinances defining how and where solar systems may be developed and permitted in the jurisdiction, but many other locations do not,  which can make it unclear how, and even if, a solar system may be installed in that jurisdiction. A template ordinance provides a consensus starting point for any city or county in the state looking to establish or update a solar ordinance. Having a model ordinance reduces the burden on the local staff to research and draft new ordinance language, and encourages a degree of consistency across the state.

The NC Solar Center and the NC Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) partnered this spring to help develop this important template ordinance and have made good progress through the summer.  So far, regional forums have been held in Raleigh, Greensboro and Asheville to inform people know about the process and collect input on what stakeholders would like to have included in the template. There are two additional forums planned, in Lumberton on Sept. 24, and in Charlotte on Oct. 18. Each of these events will be a way for interested parties to learn about solar development in North Carolina, and provide input on the current draft of the template.

A very broad range of stakeholders are active in two working groups (solar industry and everyone else) who have been drafting the ordinance this summer. Their members include solar developers/installers, city and county planners and zoning administrators, state agencies, environmental organizations, military, city/county organizations, forestry organizations, agriculture organizations, and others. Each working group has met twice, each time editing the latest version of the ordinance. This process has produced a current draft generally agreeable to both groups.

We are now moving to the next phase of drafting, which will occur in three focus groups each made up of members of the two working groups.  These smaller groups will dive deeper into the details of three core components of the ordinance; aesthetic related topics, abandonment/decommissioning, and permitting. Following the initial meetings of the focus groups, the two existing working groups will combine to form the N.C. Template Solar Ordinance Working Group. Using all the input collected, this group will finalize the drafting of the template ordinance this fall.

The final template ordinance will be completed in October and available at the NCSEA Making Energy Work conference November 5-6 at the Raleigh Convention Center.  This document will represent the consensus of a broad range of stakeholders with interest in solar development and its impacts in North Carolina, and thus be a very valuable starting point for local solar ordinances from Murphy to Manteo.

Contact Tommy Cleveland, Renewable Energy Project Coordinator at or 919-515-9432   or Miriam Makhyoun, Manager of Market Intelligence, NC Sustainable Energy Association at or (919)-832-7601 x114 for more information.

Call for Nominations: 2013 Mobile CARE Awards

Posted on: August 13th, 2013 by shannon No Comments

         7th Annual awards will recognize leaders in reducing transportation related emissions




Nominations are requested for the 7th Annual Mobile Clean Air Renewable Energy (CARE) Awards. Mobile CARE awards recognize initiative and leadership efforts at improving North Carolina’s air quality through alternative fuel, advanced transportation technologies and fuel economy practices.



Nomination Period August 12th– September 13th, 2012

Award announcements on October 14th at the North Carolina Solar Center’s 25th Anniversary reception in Raleigh, N.C.



Guidelines and application available online.



The N.C. Solar Center at N.C. State University, with support from the N.C. Department of Transportation, is organizing the 7th Annual Mobile CARE awards as part of the Clean Fuel Advanced Technology Project. Applicants are sought in four categories: Individual, Fleet, Technology/Fuel Provider, and Policy/Organization Innovation. Applicants are encouraged to nominate themselves or a colleague for efforts involved with transportation efficiency and/or expanding the use of alternative transportation fuels such as biodiesel, ethanol, electricity, natural gas, and propane through direct use, business development, policies and organizational enhancement.



Over 6.5 million North Carolinians are at risk due to the health effect of poor air quality.  North Carolina’s reliance on imported transportation fuel contributes to air quality problems. The 2013 Mobile CARE awards will recognize exemplary efforts to reduce transportation related emissions and support fuel diversity options that benefit North Carolina.



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

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


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.

N.C. Solar Center and N.C. Energy Office Participate in BOEM Offshore Wind Visual Simulation Meetings

Posted on: August 7th, 2013 by shannon No Comments


Raleigh, N.C. – Citizens will be able to find out what the development of offshore wind energy might look like from the North Carolina coast at two federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management meetings next week.  The results of a visualization study, conducted to accurately show how wind turbines could be viewed from the shore during various weather conditions and times of day, will be on display.  In addition to being able to view the simulations, the public will also be able to offer comments.


The sessions will be held on:


Monday, Aug. 12 (5 p.m. – 8 p.m.)

Wingate by Wyndham Southport

1511 North Howe St.

Southport, N.C. 28461


Wednesday, Aug. 14 (5 p.m. – 8 p.m.)

South Brunswick Islands Center

9400 Ocean Highway 17 W

Carolina Shores, N.C. 28467



The N.C. Solar Center and the N.C. Energy Office will represent the state at these meetings and be available to answer questions regarding the process for identifying areas for offshore wind development in the state.  The planning process is designed to identify areas for commercial offshore wind development with the least environment and use conflicts, while also protecting sensitive habitats and resources.  In addition, the process seeks to minimize space use conflicts with activities such as military operations, shipping and fishing.

In December 2012, BOEM announced potential wind leasing areas offshore from North Carolina:  one area six miles off Kitty Hawk near the Virginia border and two other areas located seven and 13 miles off Southern Wilmington near the South Carolina border (see map here).  The areas were identified over the last few years through the work of the BOEM N. C. Task Force, comprised of federal, state and local officials along with community and business leaders from the state’s coastal counties and towns.  The areas continue to be refined based on responses received during the comment period as well as results of ongoing BOEM working groups and outreach meetings.

“North Carolina is the second state to identify potential offshore wind leasing areas in the Southeast – a region poised to play a significant role in the U.S. offshore wind industry, with over 60 percent of the east coast’s shallow water resource,” said Brian O’Hara, President of the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition.

The visual simulation study covers 18 sites along the coast with hypothetical views of a 200 turbine offshore wind project at 10, 15 and 20 nautical miles.  A critical piece of this study is the meteorological report, which found that daytime visibility to 10 nautical miles occurs at least 50 percent of the day on 127 days per year, including only 25 days during the summer.

“It is important to reference the site specific data from the meteorological report when viewing the visualizations and assessing the visual impact of potential projects,” said Jen Banks, Wind Energy Project Coordinator at the Solar Center.


About the NC 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


About the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition

The Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition works to advance the coastal and offshore wind industry in the Southeast. We focus on supply chain growth, economic development, job growth, and wind energy development in the region with solutions that are beneficial to industry, beneficial to utilities, and result in net economic benefits to citizens and ratepayers.  For more information about the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition visit


Media Contacts:

Tracey B. Moriarty, BOEM, 703-787-1571,

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

Brian O’Hara, Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition, 252-506-9463,

Seth Effron, N.C.  Energy Office, 919-733-1922,

Funding available for projects reducing transportation-related emissions

Posted on: August 5th, 2013 by shannon No Comments
Up to $1,000,000 available to award


Raleigh, N.C. – The N.C. Solar Center announces a call for projects for up to $1,000,000 to award to governments, business, and/or non-profit fleets and fuel providers for transportation technology-related emission reduction projects.  Up to $2000,00 per project is available.  The Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) Project is a $6.2 million initiative of the N.C. Solar Center funded in part by federal dollars from the N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT).  In addition to providing assistance for emission reduction projects, the CFAT project focuses on activities that include a public education media campaign and developing clean transportation technology and policy training opportunities.

Technology project proposals for this round of funding must be submitted to the N.C. Solar Center by September 10, 2013.

This is the third round of DOT funding available through the CFAT project. From 2006-2012 nearly $2.2 million was distributed for 47 projects  to a variety of entities including a national park, local governments, school systems, service station owners, fuel distributors, and a company providing electrified parking spaces at a truck stop to reduce idling in long haul trucks. The CFAT project, funded by federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funds, operates in 24 counties that do not meet National Ambient Air Quality Standards. More than half of North Carolinians live in counties that have unhealthy air, and transportation related emissions are a primary contributor to the state’s air quality problem. Project managers anticipate a wide range of applications including alternative fuel vehicle conversions and up fits for operation on cleaner-burning propane or natural gas, alternative fuel refueling and electric recharging infrastructure, on-board idle reduction and telematics technology for fuel savings and emission reduction, and emission control retrofits for school buses and other heavy duty diesel vehicles.

Funding assistance is allocated in the form of a reimbursement, which can cover up to 80% of the project cost. In order to be eligible, a project must reduce transportation related emissions within eligible NC counties. For education and outreach regarding alternative fuel and fuel conservation technologies and policies, the N.C. Solar Center has partnered with Triangle J, Centralina, Upper Coastal Plain and Kerr-Tar Councils of Governments, and the Piedmont Triad Regional Council.

Guidelines and applications available here.


If you have questions related to the grant, please join us on a conference call, Tuesday, August 27th at 1:00pm.  Please contact Chris Werner for more information.


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

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