Posts Tagged ‘Solar’

Template Ordinance for Solar Energy Development in North Carolina

Posted on: December 18th, 2013 by shannonhelm No Comments


The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCSC) and the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) managed the development of this template ordinance and the organization of the drafting working group. The working group consisted of representatives of the solar industry, local NC planners, State Farm Bureau, N.C. Department of Agriculture, NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), N.C. Association of County Commissioners, N.C. League of Municipalities, military, University of North Carolina School of Government, NC Conservation Network, Duke Energy Progress, North Carolina State University Forestry, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and many others. The initial draft was developed by NCSC and NCSEA in May 2013 based on a study of current North Carolina solar ordinances and available state model ordinances. Throughout the summer and fall the working group, often in the form of smaller topic-specific focus groups, worked to improve and update the existing drafts. Additionally NCSC and NCSEA hosted five public forums across the state on the development of the template ordinance. This process led to the template ordinance provided below:


Template Ordinance for Solar Energy Development in North Carolina

Click here for the solar ordinance template (includes executive summary, introduction, 30 stakeholders available for contact, sources of support for local governments, the template ordinance, and appendices of supporting information). The template is also available in Word .doc format without introduction and contact information for editing by local governments.


Letter to Membership

Letter to membership of North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, North Carolina League of Municipalities, and the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association and communities across North Carolina


Report on The Development of the North Carolina Template Solar Ordinance

Click here for a summary of the process of developing the ordinance and the history of changes in each section of the template.


UNC Student Paper on Solar Ordinance

UNC Student research paper entitled Identifying and Confronting Challenges Associated with Solar Ordinance Implementation by UNC Template Solar Ordinance Implementation Study Team.


Click here to read the press release announcing the ordinance.


N.C. Solar Center Receives SRCC Approval as Solar Thermal Collector Test Lab

Posted on: December 4th, 2013 by shannon No Comments
Becomes the fifth lab in the United States


Raleigh, N.C. – The Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) approved the N.C. Solar Center Test Lab to perform testing of solar thermal collectors (aka solar hot water panels) for SRCC OG-100 certification, making it just the fifth such lab in the United States. This collector certification is the market standard and is required for a residential solar hot water system to be eligible to receive the federal 30 percent renewable energy tax credit. Recently, the test lab also received ISO 17025 accreditation from A2LA, which is a quality standard for testing laboratories (similar to ISO 9000, but for testing and calibration laboratories). The accredited testing includes a series of quality and performance tests, such as a pressure test, an impact test and an efficiency test. The lab is now accepting requests from manufacturers for this accredited testing.

In addition to the accredited testing of flat plate and evacuated tube solar thermal collectors, the lab also offers a wide range of custom testing of solar thermal, as well as photovoltaic technologies. Such testing is useful to firms developing new technologies that need trusted independent performance data, or large solar purchasers looking to validate the performance and quality of a product they are considering purchasing. The lab’s capabilities range from low temperature solar air heating panels, to high temperature concentrating solar, and to field performance of photovoltaic modules and inverters. N.C. Solar Center engineers perform the testing; however the lab does offer N.C. State students opportunities to support testing and the development of new testing capabilities, such as a current mechanical engineering graduate student working to develop solar tank and heat exchanger test systems.

The N.C. Solar Center is within the College of Engineering at N.C. State University, and has performed solar product testing since the 1990’s; however this is the first time it has applied for ISO 17025 accreditation or SRCC approval. The motivation to become accredited, which required a major laboratory overhaul, came from a significant testing backlog that occurred due to expanded federal tax credits for solar, and the ensuing influx of new collectors in the U.S. market that needed testing and certification to be eligible for the tax credits. That backlog has since dissipated, but the need for testing of solar thermal collectors to verify performance and quality remains. A Green Business Fund grant from the N.C. Department of Commerce made the development of the lab possible, but required additional investment from the Center to complete the lab upgrades.

The N.C. Solar Center Test lab may be reached at or 919-513-0418. More information is available at



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,

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

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.

Development of a template solar ordinance for North Carolina

Posted on: June 20th, 2013 by shannon No Comments


The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center in collaboration with the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) is bringing together stakeholders to help develop a template solar ordinance for North Carolina. Ground mounted solar systems, often referred to as “solar farms”, are being installed with increasing regularity across the state, however the majority of jurisdictions do not have a development ordinance that explicitly covers such solar systems, thereby creating uncertainty about the permitting process. The eventual product of this effort will be the Southeast’s first-of-its-kind guide for harmonizing the elements included in the permitting of solar energy facilities, offering a path that could facilitate solar project development for companies and landowners while simultaneously creating a framework for the inclusion of local values and interests.  To assist with creating this template ordinance, both the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center and NCSEA are hosting several forums to discuss current stakeholder issues.  There are several ways to become engaged in the template development process: attend local public forums, provide input online, and join the stakeholder working group.

The kick-off forum was held on May 31st at the N.C. Museum of Natural Science’s Nature Research Center, where state and local officials, local landowners, legal experts, and clean energy business representatives shared views and offered insights regarding solar development.   “The Solar Development and Siting forums bring together a wide cross section of stakeholders to discuss the issues and challenges facing solar projects, with the goal of developing a template solar ordinance for North Carolina that can be adapted and adopted by counties and municipalities across the state”, said Tommy Cleveland, Solar Engineer with the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center.

Subsequent meetings are planned for Greensboro (June 27), Asheville (August 8), Lumberton (August 20th), and a final forum to be held in Charlotte in late October. Each event is a chance to engage in discussions about solar development in North Carolina. In addition to hearing from stakeholders at these forums, stakeholders will be able to make suggestions for the ordinance, as well as vote and comment on the suggestions of other stakeholders. This opportunity for open stakeholder engagement is available through early August. The input from this online tool will inform the stakeholder working group, made up of key stakeholders representing the interests of landowners, county and city planners, solar industry, agriculture, and many others.

For more information about the forums, participation in the stakeholder working group, or the development of the template solar ordinance for North Carolina please contact.


Tommy Cleveland at 919.515.9432,




Miriam Makhyoun, NCSEA, 919.832.7601×114,

U.S. Solar Market Insight Q1 2013

Posted on: June 11th, 2013 by shannon No Comments


The latest Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) Solar Market Insight™ report for Q1 2013 details a total of 8.5 gigawatts of solar electric capacity operating in the U.S (PV+CSP).

That’s enough solar energy to power more than 1.3 million average U.S. households.

Download the FREE Executive Summary now.

A few key facts from the report include:


  • The U.S. installed 723 megawatts (MW) in Q1 2013, which accounted for over 48 percent of all new electric capacity installed in the U.S. last quarter. Overall, these installations represent the best first quarter of any given year for the industry.


  • California installed more new solar PV on residential homes than ever before.


  • In Arizona, 86% of all residential PV installed in Q1 2013 was installed through third-party ownership systems, like solar leasing.


To hear more of the report results firsthand, please join SEIA and GTM Research on Thursday, June 27 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT for a free webinar. We’ll cover key report findings and what they mean for the industry. Register now.

Get the Executive Summary now, or purchase the full report to get more detail on the findings.


Governor McCrory proclaims June solar energy month in North Carolina

Posted on: June 4th, 2013 by shannon No Comments


Raleigh, NC– Governor Pat McCrory announced today that he has proclaimed June as Solar Energy Month in North Carolina, stressing the role the growing industry is playing in creating jobs and helping make our state and nation energy independent.

“North Carolina is home to one of the fastest growing solar industries in our nation,” said Governor Pat McCrory. “It is important that we recognize the impact the solar industry is making in our state, not only in terms of being another valuable piece to an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy plan, but also the high-quality jobs the industry creates for hardworking North Carolinians.”

Governor McCrory was joined by Strata Solar CEO Markus Wilhelm for the proclamation announcement at Strata Solar in Willow Spring, North Carolina.

The solar energy sector is expanding throughout the state, with solar farms, plants, manufacturing equipment for the solar industry, and workers installing and maintaining both large and small scale solar facilities creating critical jobs for North Carolinians. North Carolina currently has more than 500 companies working in the solar industry, and they employ about 2,000 workers.

Since 2007, more than $743 million has been invested in the solar industry, creating jobs and providing solar photovoltaic development and infrastructure.  Today more than 229 megawatts of solar energy are currently installed throughout North Carolina – sixth in the nation.

Click here to view and download a copy of the proclamation.

Verizon to spend $100M on solar panels, fuel cells for facilities

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

Verizon is making its largest commitment to clean power to date with a planned $100 million investment into installing solar panels and fuel cells at its facilities. The company joins the league of Apple and Google with its aggressive investments in distributed, renewable energy.

Telecom giant Verizon is expected to announce on Tuesday that it plans to spend $100 million on clean power projects, including installing solar panels and fuel cells at 19 locations to help power its buildings and network infrastructure. Verizon’s Chief Sustainability Officer James Gowen plans to make the announcement at Fortune’s Brainstorm Green conference on Tuesday.

Verizon plans to buy fuel cells from ClearEdge Power and solar panels from SunPower. The amount of power from the solar panels and fuel cells, which will be installed across seven states, will be 70 million kilowatt hours of electricity. That’s enough to power 6,000 homes per year.

Fuel cells look like industrial refrigerators, and they use a chemical reaction to produce electricity and heat. They are filled with large stacks that are lined with catalysts (a metal, sometimes platinum), and a fuel (commonly natural gas) is inserted in one side and runs over the stack. Electricity and heat flow out the other side. The benefits of fuel cells are that the electricity can be created on site where it is used, and if the fuel used is biogas, then the electricity is also free of carbon emissions.

Verizon has been using a small amount of solar and fuel cell technology for awhile, but this move represents the company’s largest commitment to clean power projects to date. Verizon is looking to cut its carbon emissions footprint substantially by 2020.


Gowen told me in an interview that this initiative is being driven both by the desire to add energy resiliency to Verizon’s facilities as well as the company’s sustainability goals. During superstorm Sandy, a fuel cell installation that Verizon had in Long Island that powered a switching station (using fuel cells from UTC Power, which was acquired by ClearEdge Power) never went down. Gowen said he wanted that type of off-grid resiliency through out Verizon’s facilities.

All of the solar panel installations in 2013 will be pretty large ones. For example, Verizon is putting solar panels on the roof of a data center in New Jersey, as well as on the ground next to the data center. The return on investment for the combined clean power projects is supposed to be around ten years, said Gowen.

Deploying clean power technologies — both solar panels and fuel cells — at data centers is a growing trend for internet and telecom companies in the U.S. Apple (a AAPL), Google, eBay, and Microsoft are all deploying clean power at data centers to help add off grid resiliency, as well as lower carbon emissions.

Apple is building its own solar panel farms and fuel cell farms at its data center in Maiden, North Carolina. Google has spent over a $1 billion investing in clean power projects and recently started working with Duke Energy on a clean power initiative in North Carolina. AT&T has large fuel cell farms powering its operations in California and Connecticut, using technology from Bloom Energy.

In a call last week, ClearEdge Power’s CEO David Wright called Verizon’s commitment to clean power technology “a stake in the ground for other technology companies.”



In Rockingham County, the sun is a crop

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


PELHAM — The first thing that gets your attention is the blue — row after row of polycrystalline panels sitting atop aluminum racking gleaming in the sunlight.

From a distance, the fenced-in area could be mistaken for a body of water.

This is a farm. Its crop is the sun.

The solar farm, which is run by Chapel Hill-based Strata Solar, sits on roughly 40 acres. More than 26,000 solar panels generate 5 megawatts of AC power.

This power, enough to serve 750 houses, is sold to Duke Energy.

County Manager Lance Metzler said the solar farm, Dibrell Farm, is the first in Rockingham County. He said more farms like this are likely in the near future.

“We are looking at other sites throughout the county that might interest Strata Solar,” Metzler said.

Blair Schooff, Strata Solar’s vice president of marketing and sales, said the company is interested in developing more farms in Rockingham County.


A bluebird perches on a solar panel at the new Strata Solar solar farm in northern Rockingham county.


“We have a couple of projects lined up,” Schooff said. “We are actively interested in the area.”

Schooff said Guilford County is also on Strata Solar’s radar.

“We are looking very intensely at that whole part of the state,” he said.

They crop up quickly, no matter where they go.

Construction on Dibrell Farm began in mid-January, and it was commissioned April 5. Strata Solar leases the farmland for 20 years with a 10-year option.

The company works with the land as is and did little to no grading. When the deal ends, the panels will be removed and recycled. The land can be used for farming or whatever else the landowner chooses.

“It’s a $12 million investment in the community,” Metzler said, adding that the company spent about $250,000 in the community during construction.

It is a good source of income for the property owner. Schooff said farmers are usually eager to deal with the company.

“We have been well-embraced by the farm community,” Schooff said.

Giant solar farms are a fairly new thing, at least in central North Carolina. Companies say they need trained workers, undeveloped land, community and government support and plenty of sunshine — which the area has in abundance.

SunEdison runs a solar farm on 355 acres in Davidson County and supplies electricity to Duke Energy under a 20-year contract.

In 2011, Guilford County was one of seven finalists for what was touted as the largest solar farm in the world — a $1.4 billion project. National Solar Power of Melbourne, Fla., eventually built the farm in its home state.

But the size and scope of the project got officials in the Triad talking about solar energy as a viable economic development option for this struggling area.

National Solar Power’s five-year construction phase, for instance, would have created 400 jobs. And the $1.4 billion investment would have produced $10.9 million in Guilford County taxes.

Strata Solar works with employment and economic development offices where projects are built, and it hires and trains individuals. Its strategy is to build solar farms in regional clusters so its teams can move from one job to the next.

Where “next” is Schooff wouldn’t say, but the company isn’t finished with Rockingham County.

And there is plenty of sunshine to go around.


Reposted from the News & Record

Push to end NC’s renewable energy program ends in NC House committee

Posted on: April 25th, 2013 by shannon No Comments

RALEIGH — The push to terminate North Carolina’s renewables program is over for the foreseeable future after a House committee in the state legislature defeated the measure with the help of key Republicans.

The vote in Raleigh was closely watched by national conservative organizations that had targeted North Carolina as the first domino in a national strategy of toppling green-energy policies in more than two dozen states.

Sixteen conservative organizations – including the American Conservative Union, Americans for Tax Reform and The Heartland Institute – made a final push for North Carolina’s bill this week with a letter urging lawmakers that it was their “moral obligation” to oppose government programs that interfere with free markets.

Despite the presence of a pair of Americans for Prosperity representatives on hand to remind lawmakers that “other states are watching,” the bill was defeated with the help of a half-dozen Republicans, including three of the most powerful legislators in the state House.

The Committee on Public Utilities and Energy voted 18-13 on Wednesday to kill the proposal that would have ended the state’s 6-year-old policy of subsidizing solar farms and other forms of renewable energy.

After the vote, Dallas Woodhouse, North Carolina director for the Arlington, Va.-based Americans for Prosperity, could barely contain his anger.

“This was a horrible vote by Republicans, and they need to be held accountable,” Woodhouse said. “And that’s all I’m going to say.”

Those who voted against ending the state’s renewables program included longtime supporters of solar power and other clean technologies. Also voting against were those who are wary of dismantling a complex state policy, which had taken months to negotiate, after a brief 30-minute debate.

But the nays also included Republicans whose districts have recruited businesses and added jobs during a severe economic downturn as a result of the program. Since its adoption in 2007, the state’s renewables policy has turned North Carolina into the nation’s fifth-largest developer of solar energy.

“It was based off local issues back home,” Rep. Tim Moore of Cleveland County, who also chairs the powerful House Rules Committee, said after the vote. “I would have had a difficult time talking to a CEO who just brought 300 jobs to Cleveland County [and telling him] that I’m going to vote to eliminate this program that justified their investment.”

Other Republican leaders voting against the bill were Conference Leader Ruth Samuelson of Mecklenburg County and Wake County’s Nelson Dollar, senior chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Samuelson said she had expected the vote to go either way by a single vote.

“It’s a very complicated issue,” she said, “and we were only getting one side of it.”


Hager’s fight for the bill

The chairman of the Public Utilities Committee, Rep. Mike Hager of Rutherford County, has met resistance on the bill ever since he introduced it two months ago. He delayed scheduling votes and several times watered down the proposal to make it more palatable.

With Wednesday’s vote taking place in a committee Hager runs as chairman, where he can schedule or withhold colleague’s bills, his legislation was thought to have the equivalent of a home-field advantage.

Hager, a former engineer for Duke Energy, said the bill would end a state policy of subsidies for industries that will never be able to compete with natural gas and nuclear power. He said the state is achieving little but increasing utility bills to subsidize developers of alternative energy.

“Do you want your kids, your grandkids, your great-grandkids paying a subsidy that lasts forever?” Hager asked members of his committee. “If you feed the bears, they don’t know how to look for food anywhere else.”

State law requires that at least 12.5 percent of retail power sales of electric utilities come from renewables and energy efficiency programs by 2021. Hager suggested shrinking the mandate to 3 percent, then said he could live with a 6 percent cap.

In Wednesday’s version, Hager agreed to keep the standard at 12.5 percent, to be dropped to zero in 2021. Under that version, Duke Energy and others could let their existing energy contracts run out and wouldn’t have to renew deals to buy or generate more electricity from solar, wind, biomass or offset by conservation programs.

Hager left the meeting room immediately after the vote and wasn’t available for comment.


Constituent concerns

Moore said he almost always votes with Hager, but told his colleague before the committee meeting that he could not support the elimination of the state’s renewable energy policy. His district includes a $27 million manufacturing facility in Shelby being developed by Schletter, an Arizona company that makes mounts and brackets for solar farms.

Moore said the expansion of solar farms is popular with farmers in his district and with his local chamber of commerce.

Before the vote, John Morrison, chief operating officer for Chapel Hill-based Strata Solar, told the committee his company is the fourth-largest solar developer in the nation, thanks to the state’s policy.

He also said that the cost of solar power has dropped significantly in recent years, and noted that the subsidy in electricity rates for solar is almost down to zero for solar farms now under development.


Power company costs

The 2007 state law that requires renewables allows electric utilities to collect the costs from customers, just as the utilities recover their costs for building transmission lines and power plants.

Currently Duke Energy residential customers pay 22 cents a month, while Progress Energy residential customers pay 42 cents a month, to subsidize renewables.

Duke’s commercial customers pay $3.29 a month, and Progress’s commercial customers pay $7.28 a month.

Duke’s industrial customers pay $20.29, and Progress’s pay $34.32 a month.

These subsidies represent a premium paid to make the projects profitable.

The program has catapulted solar farms to the forefront of the state’s energy landscape, but electricity produced from wind, poultry waste and swine waste is still in the early stages.

Democratic Rep. Paul Luebke of Durham, who voted against Hager’s bill, said he was pleased by the wide margin of defeat.

“It is the first victory in three years that I’ve had,” Luebke said. “It was refreshing to see a bipartisan majority.”


Written by: Raleigh News & Observer