Solar Rebate Program Generates Strong Response from North Carolinians

Friday, July 27, 2018

By Erika Schneider, Director of Communications

Press Release by Sundance Power Systems

July 27, 2018

Solar Rebate Program Generates Strong Response from North Carolinians

Demonstrates Consumer’s Support for Clean Energy Expansion

Asheville, NC – Ranking #2 in the nation for solar electric capacity, North Carolina has been a leader in solar energy adoption, but that has been mostly a result of the Utility- scale solar development.  Given the response to the first round of applications for Duke Energy’s new Solar Rebate Program, the demand for solar is now strong and growing in the customer-owned residential, commercial and non-profit sectors as well. It’s proven itself as an economically viable and environmentally responsible energy source for the on-site generators, which will provide significant benefits to North Carolinians for years to come.

On July 26 Duke Energy announced the status of applications for its rebate program which opened on July 9; more than 1,500 customers applied, tapping out the residential and commercial set-asides of the 20 megawatts of new capacity that will be available each year of the five-year program. For 2018’s rollout, only the non-profit sector still has capacity remaining.  While the rebate for this year has filled up in these sectors it is important for customers to be advised that now is the time to contact their solar company and move forward with their installations to put them in position to take advantage of the rebate capacity that will renew on January 1st of next year. Duke has stated that 2019’s capacity will be available for systems that are installed after the start of October of this year.

Sundance Power Systems, along with several other leading solar companies across NC, is continuing to work with Duke on how this program will be managed and improved moving forward.  “The Rebate Program is a great first step at continuing the development of the customer- owned solar market in the State.  It has had a positive effect on the adoption of this transformative technology for a wide array of people.  We knew going into this that the program would need to be improved and expanded. Now is the time for all North Carolinians to contact their legislators and ask them to expand the program to keep in pace with the demand,” says Dave Hollister, President of Sundance Power Systems, Inc.

The Comprehensive Energy Solutions for NC law or House Bill 589, passed in July of 2017, mandated the rebate program, which was announced at the first of the year after a round of negotiations and approval by the Utilities Commission. Clearly the response to the application shows that the program’s capacity as approved was not large enough to meet the public’s demand.  NC Legislators need to hear from their constituents that support the expansion of this legislatively-driven program. Hollister urges concerned citizens and community leaders to voice support for the expansion of the solar rebate program on the heels of Duke’s announcement. Hollister, who advocates for clean energy democracy at the regional level, participating in the Energy Innovation Task Force, and also at the state level, maintains that the benefits of solar energy are far-reaching, offering significant economic returns to adopters as well as solutions to our growing environmental issues caused by fossil-fuel dependency. “A clean energy future is possible, but we have to continue to stand up and demand it. This is an opportunity to create structures and relationships that serve us all better.”