WASHINGTON, DC (PRWEB) December 16, 2014
Continuing its strong solar progress, North Carolina installed 95 megawatts (MW) of solar PV in Q3, more than all the solar installed in the state in 2010 and 2011 combined and enough to rank the state 3rd nationwide for added capacity, according to the new quarterly report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The Solar Market Insight Report found Q3 2014 represented a 172 percent increase over the previous quarter for North Carolina.
Nearly all the added capacity was from utility-scale solar installations, and in late September, Duke Energy announced it will add another 386 MW of solar to its portfolio in North Carolina, a $500 million commitment that includes the 65 MW Warsaw Solar Facility, which, when completed, will be the largest PV plant east of the Mississippi.
“North Carolina’s commitment to clean, renewable solar energy is both smart and commendable,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. “Last year, $787 million was invested in North Carolina to install solar for home, business and utility use – investment spurred largely by smart and effective public policies, such as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS).”
There are currently more than 161 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in North Carolina, employing 3,100 people. In 2013, North Carolina installed 335 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking it 3rd nationally. The 722 MW of solar energy currently installed in North Carolina ranks the state 4th in the country in installed solar capacity and is enough to power 79,000 homes.
Nationwide, the solar industry employs 143,000 Americans and pumps nearly 20 billion a year into the U.S. economy. But solar also benefits the environment.
“The 17,500 megawatts of solar energy currently installed across the United States can generate enough pollution-free electricity to displace 20 billion pounds of coal or 2.2 billion gallons of gasoline,” Resch added. “That’s the equivalent of removing 4.3 million passenger cars from our roads and highways. Every 3 minutes of every single day, the U.S. solar industry is helping to fight the battle against damaging carbon emissions by flipping the switch on another completed solar project.”
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2014, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to champion the use of clean, affordable solar in America by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at http://www.seia.org.
Ken Johnson, SEIA Vice President of Communications, kjohnson(at)seia(dot)org (202) 556-2885
Samantha Page, SEIA Press Officer and Communications Manager, spage(at)seia(dot)org (202) 556-2886