North Carolina, which had almost no large-scale solar energy seven years ago, now ranks first in the Southeast and fourth in the nation in solar energy capacity, says a new report from Duke University.
“North Carolina is in an enviable position when it comes to solar power development,” said the report’s lead author, Lukas Brun, senior research analyst at Duke’s Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness (CGGC). “From being virtually non-existent in 2008, it is today the South’s leader in solar power. The result has been a growth in companies and employment in the industry, providing wide-spread benefits to the state.”
A sunny climate, capable companies and investor- and business-friendly policies have combined to boost solar energy in the state. North Carolina now has 150 utility-scale solar facilities, with another 377 facilities planned.
The economic impact of N.C.’s solar industry extends beyond its solar facilities, though. The report describes a solar “value chain” of investors, solar developers, construction contractors and solar panel and component manufacturers comprising more than 450 companies. Together, these companies support some 4,300 jobs and represent a $2 billion investment. In addition to jobs, solar industry-related businesses provide income for landowners and tax revenue for N.C. towns, the report states.
The above is an excerpt of North Carolina’s Future Looks Bright With Solar Energy by Duke CGGC. Image Credit: O2energies via Duke CGGC.
Full Report here.