The outlook for solar stays sunny in North Carolina. Last Friday, the state passed House bill 512 extending the state 35% tax credits until 2016.
North Carolina is the starting the solar revolution in the southeast. We’ve bragged how they entered the top 10 for solar installations in 2008 and wrote about the struggles to extend the tax credits. The incentive program was on the chopping block amid calls for budget overhaul and an end to tax credits of all types. Thanks to the emails and voicemails from Vote Solar members in North Carolina and the unflagging leadership of our friends at the NCSEA, the tax credits are available until 2016. That means the solar installers and distributors as well as the utility solar programs will continue to grow and add key employment opportunities to the state. Expect the multi-MW projects in North Carolina to keep coming.
The House and Senate have convened for the year. One last key solar bill, Senate bill 960, sits on the desk of the Governor awaiting is his signature. If signed, among other things, SB960 requires a study on how to develop and administer an online renewable energy certificates (RECs) tracking and trading system. The 2007 state renewable energy portfolio standard (REPS) requires RECs for compliance but as of yet the state lacks a trading platform. The trading platform will set a market price for solar which gives all industry participants a transparent measure of solar value for penciling out projects. We’ll keep you posted.