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North Carolina Proves Southeastern Powerhouse for Solar

Feb 7, 2013
Source: 
(Charlotte Business Journal)

SNL Energy published a graph Wednesday that illustrates North Carolina’s opportunity in the solar industry -- and what could be at stake if the N.C. General Assembly weakens the state’s commitment to it.

That wasn’t the point of the graph and story SNL published. As you can see here, the report is about 29.3 gigawatts of new power-generation capacity completed in the nation last year. The headline for SNL is that 14 gigawatts of that is in wind capacity — and that is big news.

But if you look at the map, you will see that 30 utility-scale solar projects were built in the Southeast last year, and 21 of them were in North Carolina. That is more individual projects than in any other state (I count 18 in California). Many of the N.C. projects were small, and the Southeast’s contribution of 130 megawatts of solar capacity is dwarfed by the 1,189 megawatts built in the West.