North Carolina receives $156 million to incentivize household solar projects – Public Radio East

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Buying rooftop solar panels may soon become cheaper in North Carolina, in part due to millions of dollars in federal funding. The Governor’s office announced yesterday that EnergizeNC, the state’s solar energy coalition, will receive $156 million in federal Greenhouse Gas Reduction grants.

Led by the North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality’s State Energy Office, EnergizeNC is a group of agencies, businesses and nonprofits that submitted a proposal to the federal government. says the money will go toward incentivizing households across the state to adopt solar energy, particularly in low-income and disadvantaged communities.

“The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Solar for All program is an important opportunity for low- and moderate-income North Carolinians to access and enjoy the benefits of clean energy, including utility cost reductions,” said Julie Woosley, Director of DEQ’s State Energy Office.

EnergizeNC will launch a statewide program to promote solar uptake across the state and in state- and federally-recognized Tribal lands. Part of the project will include training to build a specialized workforce that can build, install and fix solar panels.

“The program will also require us to think through ways to bring more installation expertise into the marketplace and to develop methodologies that enhance energy savings and deliver quality outcomes for consumers,” Steve Kalland, Executive Director of the North Carolina Clean Energy Center, said.

The move comes after Duke Energy instituted new practices that included a monthly $10 rooftop solar fee and reduced rates for homeowners selling excess energy back to the grid. Environmentalists say the rule changes hinder progress toward widespread green energy, while Duke says it ‘levels the playing field’ among its consumers.

The federal funding could help re-incentivize rooftop solar by reducing financial barriers, such as permitting, fees, inspections and installations costs.

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