Solar Energy

Politics & Government
8:43 am
Tue July 8, 2014

NC Utilities Commission Reconsiders Solar Energy Cost, Possibly Affecting Industry's Future

The construction of a photovoltaic array at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY.
Credit Brookhaven National Laboratory

Environmental groups say hearings underway in Raleigh could determine whether North Carolina’s solar energy industry continues to grow at a rapid pace.

North Carolina has recently become one of the country’s top solar states. It’s number four, after California, Arizona and New Jersey.

Duke Energy and Dominion Power are required to make or buy certain percentage of their energy from renewable sources, including solar, wind and hog and poultry waste. The state utilities commission is reviewing how much energy companies should have to pay for that energy.

Read more
Business & Economy
8:35 am
Mon January 27, 2014

NC GreenPower Celebrates 10 Years Of Increasing Access To Renewable Energy

Over the past 10 years, NC Green Power has used donations to increase the amount of renewable energy in the state's power grid.
Credit NCSU/CSE

Renewable energy generators have channeled hundreds of millions of kilowatt hours into the North Carolina power grid. That's since the NC GreenPower program was founded 10 years ago.

The initiative collects donations from companies, citizens and utility customers to buy renewable energy and diversify the state's power grid.

NC Solar Center Director Steve Kalland is on the board for NC GreenPower. He said the program has also helped utilities warm up to renewable power providers. 

Read more
Science & Technology
7:19 am
Thu January 16, 2014

UNC Researchers Convert Solar Energy Into Fuel

The new system generates fuel by using the sun's energy to split water into its component parts - storing hydrogen, releasing oxygen.
Credit Yan Liang / Energy Frontier Research Center UNC-Chapel Hill

The Frontier Research Center at UNC-Chapel Hill has built a system that converts solar energy into fuel, so power can be used even after the sun sets.  The US Department of Energy is funding the research.

Instead of storing solar electricity in an expensive battery, researchers use the sun's energy to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen.  Two of the Center's papers about the process were recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read more
Solar Center
8:15 am
Fri December 27, 2013

NC Solar Center Can Now Certify Systems For Tax Breaks

The NC Solar Center can now test manufactured solar panels according to international quality standards, and can offer SRCC certification.
Credit Marc Hall / North Carolina State University

The North Carolina Solar Center has become the fifth lab in the country approved to test solar hot water panels to the market standard.

The federal government requires home solar water heating systems to have Solar Rating and Certification Corporation—or SRCC—certification in order to be eligible for a 30-percent tax credit.

The Center has also been recently accredited to test efficiency and calibrate panels according to international standards.

Read more
Environment
7:56 am
Thu December 5, 2013

North Carolina's Energy Jobs, Energy Future

A "Strata Solar" solar farm in Cleveland County, NC.
Credit Strata Solar

Policy-makers and business leaders say North Carolina’s economic future relies on energy.

Governor Pat McCrory was one of many speakers and panelists at the North Carolina Chamber's Energy Conference at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center in Durham.  McCrory said it’s time to follow the economic recoveries of Ohio, Pennsylvania and the Dakotas.

Read more
Science & Technology
5:00 am
Mon November 25, 2013

"Solarize Raleigh" Could Make Solar Power More Affordable

Credit Marc Hall / North Carolina State University

Raleigh might soon have a group-purchasing program that would make it cheaper for residents to install solar panels on their homes. North Carolina Solar Center Director Steve Kalland  says solar power is popular among state utilities. They save money buying the costly technology in bulk. Kalland says homeowners are also interested in using cheaper, greener energy.

"The opportunity to do this has been somewhat constrained in North Carolina because the cost of these smaller-scale projects is somewhat higher than the large-scale projects," Kalland says.

Read more
Business & Economy
8:59 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Duke Energy Offers Renewable Energy Option To Big Customers

Credit Duke Energy

Duke Energy is introducing a program to provide its largest customers with renewable power.   The utility's 'Green Source Rider' initiative would give companies that use large amounts of power an option to use renewable energy in their new or expanded facilities.

Duke Energy will ask participating customers what their new power preference is: wind, solar or some other source.  Spokesman Jeff Brooks says it's then up to the utility to find them ample amounts..

Read more
Environment
5:08 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

35-Acre Solar Farm Under Construction In Orange County

A Strata Solar farm
Credit Strata Solar

A new six megawatt solar farm is under construction the Orange County community of White Cross. When it’s completed, it will be the second largest in the Triangle. The project is being designed by Chapel Hill based company, Strata Solar. The firm's Blair Schoof says when it's up and running, the 35-acre farm will provide energy for about 750 homes.

Strata Solar is the state's largest solar developer, responsible for generating more than 145 megawatts around the state. Schoof says two farms in the Triangle area are already operational with eight more planned for next year.

Read more
Environment
6:52 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Have A Seat: EPA Builds Air Monitor Bench

Tammi Masters and daughter, Rowan Jaynes, sit on new solar-powered air monitoring bench built by the EPA.
Credit Leoneda Inge

The Environmental Protection Agency has developed a new way to monitor air pollution and it includes a park bench.  There’s a new bench outside the South Regional Public Library in Durham . It’s the only one of its kind in the country.  If you sit down – and look up – you see solar panels and a spinning wind sensor.  And you can use your smart phone to scan a QR barcode to get up to the minute air quality stats.

Read more
Environment
7:37 am
Fri June 21, 2013

African Visitors Tour Raleigh's 'Green' Transformation

Nkonzo Mhnongo of South Africa takes pictures of solar panels on Raleigh Convention Center rooftop.
Credit Leoneda Inge

For years, Raleigh has worked hard to transform itself into a city of environmental sustainability and innovation.  The capital city even created an Office of Sustainability and has been recognized nationally as a leader in the field.

A group of visitors from several countries in Africa are on a three week tour of the United States and stopped by Raleigh to see some of the city’s “green” transformation first-hand.

Read more

Pages