Duke Energy prepares for second round of residential solar rebates in North Carolina

Duke Energy

Duke Energy has opened the window for another wave of North Carolina customers to apply for its solar rebate program — a program that saw more than 1,300 customers in 2018 after launching in the summer.

The Duke Energy solar rebate program is one of many customer programs the company is implementing as part of the Competitive Energy Solutions for North Carolina law passed in 2017. The rebates have helped many residential and business customers take the solar leap.

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“We are proud to make Birdsong the first Charlotte brewery to go solar,” said Chris Goulet, president of Birdsong Brewery. “Partnering with Duke Energy and its solar rebate program made the project’s economics even more attractive. The company’s solar installation is a big step toward making our organization more sustainable.”

The company began accepting new applications from customers on Jan. 2 for an additional 20 megawatts of new rooftop solar installations for residential, non-residential and nonprofit customers. Early reports are that Duke Energy has already received more than 2,000 applications for rebates in 2019.

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Duke Energy reports that more than $6 million was distributed to customers in 2018. The program will run through 2022, with an estimated 7,500 customers expected to receive Duke Energy rebates for solar systems.

Per the N.C. Utilities Commission order earlier in the year, the company will also reallocate any 2018 capacity for projects that have not been installed. That means customers who were waitlisted in 2018 with already-installed projects will be allowed to collect any available rebates. Any unconnected customers, or those that connected projects Oct. 3, 2018, or later, are eligible to apply in 2019.

Under the program, residential customers are eligible for a rebate of 60 cents per watt for solar energy systems 10 kilowatts (kW) or less. For example, a typical rooftop array of 8 kW is eligible for a $4,800 rebate. Installed systems 10 kW or greater are eligible for a maximum rebate of $6,000.

Nonresidential customers are eligible for 50 cents per watt. Nonprofit customers (such as churches and schools) are eligible for an enhanced rebate of 75 cents per watt for systems 100 kW or less.

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