A new study finds that less than a third of 1 percent of North Carolina’s 4.75 million acres of cropland now houses solar panels – belying criticisms that large-scale solar arrays are threatening the state’s traditional farms.
In addition to being a natural wonder, the eclipse is also a reminder of the incredible power of our sun—and the growing promise of solar power.
As large-scale solar projects have proliferated across North Carolina, some critics have pushed back with a surprising critique: photovoltaic panels, while beloved by environmental advocates, are a danger to public health. A recent white paper unequivocally dismisses these concerns.
An electric cooperative in rural Arkansas is finding that solar power is not only benefiting its members, it’s helped to keep a major employer in the community.
In a state where options have been limited for businesses looking to procure or install renewable energy to power their operations, North Carolina’s lawmakers have an opportunity to drive new investment in the state. Since September 2016, various energy stakeholders have worked together to further advance clean energy in North Carolina. The resulting energy stakeholder proposal (House Bill 589) originally put forward and passed by the House in early June represented a step forward for solar, placing North Carolina on a path to achieve at least 6,800 MW of installed solar by 2022. However, the last-minute addition of an unnecessary 18-month moratorium for new wind energy project permits by the North Carolina Senate casts a shadow over a bipartisan effort to continue North Carolina’s history of leadership in clean energy investment and innovation. House Bill 589, “Competitive Energy Solutions for North Carolina,” is currently awaiting action by Governor Roy Cooper, who has until July 30 to sign, veto or allow the legislation to become law without his signature.
A little-discussed section of North Carolina’s energy bill directs Duke Energy, which has advocated lower payments to solar owners in the past, to recommend new net metering rates for approval by state regulators.
A North Carolina bill’s “green source rider” program – which facilitates the purchase of clean energy from a third party — could leave large, intensive electricity users like Google and the University of North Carolina still searching for answers.
A bill breezing through the North Carolina legislature promises to end a high-profile standoff between the solar industry and Duke Energy, but critics say it gives the utility too much control.
While Dominion Energy is moving to boost its solar installations, small solar advocates contend very little is being done for consumers by either the utility or state policymakers.
Developers of a solar farm atop a former Kentucky coal mining site hope their work will inspire similar projects, but the process is much more complicated and time consuming than it may seem.