North Carolina’s utility-scale solar industry has been aided by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) and the state’s implementation of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA). The combination of policies has made North Carolina second in the nation in installed solar capacity, behind only California.
A utility-scale solar facility generates solar power, feeds it into the grid and supplies a utility with energy. Every utility-scale solar facility has a power purchase agreement (PPA) with a utility, guaranteeing a market for its energy for a fixed term of time. North Carolina has almost 10 years of policy and regulatory experience with the utility-scale solar industry, with NCSEA’s work focused on data and analysis of these installations on the ground.
NCSEA’s Utility-Scale Solar Working Group convenes an active dialogue toward the following goals:
- Quantifying the land use effects of utility-scale solar installations on North Carolina’s agricultural lands; and
- Communicating the impact of solar on agriculture including questions about how long they last, who is responsible for the decommissioning and other questions.