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North Carolina

An arrow graphic shows that North Carolina's renewable portfolio standard is set at 10% in 2018 for co-ops and municipal utilities and at 12.5% in 2021 for investor-owned utilities.

Carve-out: Solar: 0.2% by 2018
Tracking system: North Carolina Renewable Energy Tracking System (NC-RETS)

North Carolina's Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) requires that investor-owned utilities (IOUs) source12.5% of their retail sales from renewable energy by 2021; electric cooperatives and municipal utilities must source 10% of their total retail sales by 2018. North Carolina has fast-tracked interconnection processes in place for systems >20 kW and ≤2 MW. Currently no third-party ownership is allowed and no community solar policies and programs exist in North Carolina. State incentives consist of tax credits and exemptions, while Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) offers incentives to solar PV customers.

Latest Updates

  • Duke Energy Carolinas Solar Rebate Program closed effective January 28, 2017.

Net Metering

North Carolina's net-metering policies were approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) in 2005. The rules apply to the state's three IOUs: Duke Energy, Progress Energy, and Dominion North Carolina Power. For systems larger than 100 kW in capacity, IOUs may impose standby charges consistent with approved standby rates applicable to other customer-owned generation.

System size limit: 1 MW; Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp: 25kW

Aggregate cap: Not specified

Credit: Net excess generation is credited at the retail rate.

For Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp, NEG is credited at retail rate. Retail rate for net metering customers is lower than retail rate for general residential customers. Credits roll over until May 31 of each year. Remaining credit is granted to utilities without customer compensation.

RECs: Utilities owns renewable energy certificates (RECs), unless customer chooses to net meter under a time of use tariff with demand charges.

Meter aggregation: Not addressed

Interconnection

The North Carolina Utility Commission (NCUC) standards (following FERC Order 792) uses a three-tiered approach to simplify the interconnection process:

Eligible Systems Type of Interconnection
Systems ≤20 kW Inverter Process
Systems >20 kW and ≤2 MW Fast-Track Process
Systems that fail to qualify for the Fast Track Process Study Process

System size limit: Not specified

Liability insurance: Varies by system size and/or type; levels established by NCUC. Non-residential generators proposing to interconnect a system ≤250 kW are required to carry comprehensive general liability insurance in the amount of at least $300,000. Non-residential generators proposing to interconnect a system that is >250 kW are required to carry comprehensive general liability insurance in the amount of at least $1,000,000.

External disconnect switch: Not required for inverter-based systems ≤10 kW; utility's discretion for all other systems.

Third Party Ownership

Third party solar power purchase agreements are not allowed in North Carolina.

Community Solar

There are currently no statewide community solar policies and programs in North Carolina. Certain utilities, like Piedmont Electric Member Corp, offer community solar programs. Please check with local utilities for participation in community solar programs.

State Incentive Programs

Program Administrator Incentive
Renewable Energy Tax Credit (personal) North Carolina Department of Revenue

The tax credit equal to 35% of the cost of eligible renewable energy property constructed, purchased, or leased by a taxpayer and placed into service in North Carolina during the taxable year. There are no stated size limits for systems. There is a maximum of 50 kWh battery storage capacity per kW of hydro generator capacity (DC rated); and a maximum of 35 kWh battery storage capacity per kW for other technologies.

Renewable Energy Tax Credit (corporate) NC Green Power North Carolina Department of Revenue The tax credit is equal to 35% of the cost of eligible renewable energy property constructed, purchased or leased by a taxpayer and placed into service in North Carolina during the taxable year. The maximum tax credit is $2.5 million per installation.

Production Based Incentive (PBI) is available for commercial, industrial, local and state government, nonprofit, residential, schools, agricultural, and institutional users. For PV) ≤5 kW: $0.06/kWh (plus approximately $0.04/kWh rom utility); PV >5 kW: must enter bid process. Net metered customers not eligible in this program.
Tax exemptions North Carolina Department of Revenue The state exempts 80% of the appraised value (100% for residential system) of a PV system from property tax.

Utility Incentive Programs

Utility Incentive Limitations

TVA: Green Power Providers program

First 10 years: $0.02/kWh above the retail rate; an additional 10 years: retail rate

<50 kW

TVA: Renewable Standard Offer program

10-, 15-, or 20-year contracts at a rate that escalates 5% annually

50 kW - 20 MW

TVA: Solar Solutions Initiative

Additional $0.04/kWh for the first 10 years

50 kW - 1 MW
Total capacity: 20 MW

Duke Energy Carolinas

Solar rebates

No more than 30 MW total for projects with a capacity of 20.01 kW to 1000 kW.
Ended on January 28, 2017; waiting list remains in place until all projects accepted into the rebate program have been paid.

Resources

The list below provides some resources for each type of policy or program. Please reference and contact relevant authorities and local utilities for the most up-to-date and accurate information on state and utility policies and incentive programs.

Renewable Portfolio Standard

Interconnection standards

Programs and Incentives