NCSEA defines utility-scale solar as solar facilities developed with the primary goal of supplying a utility with energy. This includes solar facilities that have a power purchase agreement (PPA) with a utility and solar facilities that are directly owned and operated by utilities. 


Utility-scale solar power generated from ground mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) systems is growing rapidly in North Carolina. These systems utilize large areas of land, in many cases land formerly used for agricultural purposes. Using data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the investor-owned utilities (IOUs) that serve the state, NCSEA projected that even with solar providing more than 5% of North Carolina’s electricity needs, the utility-scale solar installations that generate this electricity occupy less than 0.6% of the state’s agricultural land from 2017-2030