The NC Clean Energy Technology Center at NC State University offers business, industry, government and utilities a suite of services aimed at optimizing sustainability and energy-related objectives.
The NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) advances a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating, and providing assistance to support clean energy technologies, practices and policies. The subject matter experts at the Center provide unbiased, data-driven, and technical fee-for-service energy solutions based upon the client’s specific needs. The team includes experts in clean energy, renewables, transportation, policy and workforce training, that work to provide comprehensive solutions.
For more information or to request a quote for services, use our contact form below, or contact:
Liz Bowen, Senior Project Manager
To view or print our brochure, click here.
The Center’s Energy and Sustainability Services (ESS) can help your organization plan, evaluate, implement and report on a host of energy-related priorities through a variety of cross-cutting services.
Virginia Solar Procurement Guide for Local Communities
The NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) conducted a survey of local governments in Virginia regarding solar procurement interests, and organized and conducted a SolSmart Virginia-wide cohort solar procurement meeting in Fairfax, with participation from over a dozen local governments. The workshop included speakers representing utility, distribution, solar developer and related nonprofit interests who presented on solar procurement opportunities. A pre-workshop report developed by the NCCETC on “Solar Procurement for SolSmart Communities in Virginia” provided an overview of all the potential solar procurement opportunities: Municipal Aggregation, Municipal Net Metering, On-site Power Purchase Agreements, Sleeved Power Purchase Agreements, Virtual Power Purchase Agreements, Green Tariffs, Collective Equipment Purchasing (Solarize) Programs and Renewable Energy Credit Purchases. A “closed door” facilitated discussion on aligned priorities followed the presentations, which ultimately resulted in the NCCETC developing a “Step-by Step Solar Procurement Guide for Virginia Local Governments.”
Local Government Solar Policy Review
The Town of Apex, which operates its own municipal electric utility, requested a review of its solar policies to identify possible barriers to solar photovoltaics (PV) adoption for Apex residents. The NCCETC provided a review of relevant solar policies in North Carolina and identified policy items that might be impeding broad solar adoption. After receiving the analysis, Apex changed several of its policies, including:
Solar Assessments for Schools and Local Government Buildings
To help organizations prioritize and evaluate the potential for rooftop solar PV on their buildings, individual “Economic and Technical Analysis of Rooftop Solar PV” reports were prepared for several North Carolina school systems including Chapel Hill-Carrboro and New Hanover County Schools, as well as for Wake Technical Community College as well as for Orange County. The analyses and final reports included:
Municipal Utility Solar Feasibility Analysis
The Fayetteville Public Works Commission serves 87,000 customers as the state’s largest municipal utility. They enlisted the help of the NCCETC to conduct a technical and economic analysis of the viability of subscriber-based community solar program for their customers.
The outcome resulted in the proposal of a 1MW community solar array, plus a 560kW battery storage system, which was passed by the Fayetteville City Council to help the utility support their renewable energy portfolio requirements, access dispatchable storage to reduce peak demand, and most importantly, to enable all customers to participate in the generation of solar energy. The solar array will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 1,300 metric tons of CO2e. The estimated $2.5 million dollar development and construction investment has largely benefited Cumberland County, and the region as a whole.
The project, which is currently generating electricity, will be the first municipal utility in the state to offer a program of this scale. The utility is presently offering panels to both residential, commercial & industrial customers. The project was awarded funding from the North Carolina Division of Environmental Quality, to benefit qualified low-income residents.
Peak Demand Reduction Strategies and Renewable Energy Solutions
The Town of Benson secured a zero percent financing loan, with the NCCETC’s assistance, from North Carolina Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). The municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Benson, North Carolina has aging infrastructure and the highest energy use of any of the town’s facilities. Through the CWSRF, the Town of Benson’s WWTP will be upgraded with a 500kW solar PV and battery storage system that will reduce peak demand charges and supply a measure of resilience when power is lost. When extreme weather or other disasters bring down the electric grid, the WWTP will become a microgrid and island its operations to continue providing essential water and treatment services to Town residents and businesses. As of late 2019, the NCCETC’s policy and engineering team has provided:
Energy Efficiency Assessments & Reviews
TSG Finishing, LLC, in Hickory, requested a third-party engineering review from the NCCETC in order to apply for funding through the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The facility was in need of a lighting retrofit project for their plant in order to upgrade and improve lighting throughout the facility. Dedicated to the enhancement of woven and non-woven fabrics through specialty applications since 1901, the manufacturer qualified as a rural small business according to the eligibility requirements of the USDA REAP. They were awarded grant funding under REAP, as well as incentives from Duke Energy, resulting in a 1.6 year payback on the project.
Carbon Neutral Strategy
In 2019, the NCCETC worked with an international company to help develop a strategy to help the manufacturer reach their ambitious 2025 carbon neutrality goal. The NCCETC provided research, energy policy guidance and technical analysis culminating in a final report to help inform the executive level decision-making process for a company-wide and site-specific strategy, for achieving carbon neutrality. This included defining key terminology and scope parameters, as well as understanding the ‘green claims’ that could be made by the company as a result. Additionally, the NCCETC identified opportunities in energy efficiency, self-generation, purchase power agreements, carbon offset purchases and renewable energy credits (RECs) procurement. The team also provided a competitive analysis of similarly sized companies and their sustainability or renewable energy claims and strategies surrounding carbon neutrality.
Alternative Fuel Life Cycle Analysis
NCCETC’s Clean Transportation team has conducted alternative fuel life cycle cost analyses for multiple transit agencies across North Carolina where the team compared the total cost of ownership for vehicles over their expected lifetimes for vehicles using different fuel types. NCCETC can also:
Peak Demand Reduction Strategies and Solutions
The Center worked with the city of Fayetteville’s wastewater treatment facilities to identify opportunities to shift peak and incorporate solutions that could support peak demand reduction initiatives including the adoption of renewable energy. The team, which also represents the U.S. Department of Energy Southeast Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnership, provided technical assistance to help the municipal utility consider the inclusion of a combined heat and power system fueled by biogas.
“We appreciated the opportunity to work with the [NCCETC] team on this project and will be relying upon the report David and the team produced to continue our work to provide leadership in terms of solar PV installation and use in towns and cities in North Carolina.”
“Anne Tazewell and the staff at NC Clean Energy Technology Center are knowledgeable about their work, and easy to work with. The study they completed is our primary resource in the decision-making process for installing solar PV on our roof tops.”
“Since 2016, PWC has partnered with NCCETC for analytical services, non-residential auditing, and substantive research, to include the production modeling for our 1 MW community solar/560 kW battery storage project, the development of rate calculators for the PWC residential TOU rate, and contribution to the PWC Energy Storage, Electric Vehicle/EV Charging Study. NCCETC has a pulse on energy-related legislative policy and is on top of the latest advancements and trends in energy technology. PWC has found that collaboration with NCCETC has provided considerable support and validation when evaluating energy solutions and the impact on customer efficiency and demand management.”
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Enhance your skills or begin a career change with one of our training classes! The Center offers several training opportunities for professional development and the highest level of continuing education in renewable energy technologies. Get started today.