Coal, Energy Storage, Hydro, Renewable Energy, Solar

North Carolina solar power jumps to No. 2, Duke Energy continues investment

Annual solar energy production in North Carolina jumped 36 percent in 2018, according to the latest government data – placing North Carolina as the No. 2 solar-producing state in the nation.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) confirmed North Carolina’s 36 percent growth, which outpaced other leading solar states. By comparison, California’s annual solar production rose 15 percent; Arizona’s and Nevada’s outputs each grew 10 percent in 2018.

At year-end 2018, EIA reported North Carolina produced 7.2 million MWh of solar generation – enough to power more than 600,000 homes. North Carolina was third in the nation for connecting new solar projects in 2018. Most solar energy produced in North Carolina is owned or purchased by Duke Energy.

With 4 million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina, Duke Energy continues to build a smarter energy future. In the Carolinas, more than half of the energy produced comes from carbon-free resources including nuclear, hydropower and solar.

Since 2011, Duke Energy has shut down 30 coal-fired power plants in the Carolinas and will retire five additional coal-fired units in the next six years. Since 2005, the company has also reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 36 percent in the Carolinas, and projects a 53 percent reduction in the Carolinas by 2025.

The company is also continuing to pursue battery storage, with a $500 million investment slated over the next 10 years and projects already underway in the Asheville area.

Duke Energy owns and operates more than 35 solar facilities in North Carolina and has invested more than $1 billion in renewable energy in the state.

The company also continues to introduce new solar programs for different types of customers. The company’s $62 million solar rebate program for residential, commercial and nonprofit customers in North Carolina has helped 3,000 customers go solar in its first two years. Duke Energy will continue offering these rebates over the next three years.