The North Carolina utility company Progress Energy is among the nations leaders in solar production. Last year the utility company produced almost 70 megawatts of new solar generating capacity. The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) says that’s the 8th highest output of all U.S. utility companies.
In the last few years the cost of producing solar has dropped by 80%. In addition to cheaper costs, Progress was required to have at least three percent of its retail sales come from renewable energy sources. New state standards will mandate that that figure climb to 12.5% by the year 2021.
The solar energy that Progress produces is sold to other companies as a wholesale purchase. As a state North Carolina was 5th in renewable energy production, behind California, Nevada, Arizona and New Jersey.