North Carolina’s Million Solar Roofs Initiative Goals:

In 1999 under the leadership of the State Energy Office and the North Carolina Solar Center, North Carolina made a commitment to promote solar energy in North Carolina by becoming a Million Solar Roofs Initiative Partnership. Today we are one of 94 Partnerships across the country collectively working to encourage more solar energy systems in our communities by 2010.

The NC Million Solar Roofs Partnership is working hard to achieve its goal of 3,000 new solar energy systems in the state by 2010. To help meet this goal, North Carolina has formed eight Million Solar Roofs community partners that are active in 25 counties spanning the state from the mountains to the coast.

Use this website to locate a Million Solar Roofs community partner in your area, register a solar energy system, view upcoming solar events, read solar news, find a solar building professional, identify financial incentives, and learn more about solar energy technologies and how they can benefit you and the citizens of North Carolina.

If you are looking for a solar solution, but you don’t have money to buy equipment, you can check out the Rental Force for prices on equipment rentals.

About the Federal Initiative:

Announced in June 1997, Million Solar Roofs was an initiative to facilitate the installation of solar energy systems on one million U.S. buildings by 2010. The Million Solar Roofs Initiative was designed to support states and local communities as they develop a strong commitment to the sustained deployment of solar energy technologies. The MSRI partnerships bring together business, government, the energy industry and community organizations with a commitment to install a set number of solar energy systems by 2010.

In the fall of 2005, the federal Million Solar Roofs Initiative was prematurely ended. The new Solar America Initiative will accelerate the development of advanced PV materials with the goal of making it cost-competitive with other forms of renewable electricity by 2015.

Why We Support This Initiative

The NC Million Solar Roofs Initiative is helping increase the market for solar energy. At the same time, the Initiative is offering consumers an affordable, clean-energy option, creating new U.S. high-technology jobs, and playing an important role in reducing emissions.

Emissions associated with power generation are caused mostly by the inefficient burning of fossil fuels. By increasing the efficiency of how we use fossil fuels, reducing our use of these fuels and switching to alternative, non-polluting fuels, we can significantly reduce the emissions we put into the air and the atmosphere thereby reducing their harmful effects on human health and the environment. One of the most promising non-fossil sources is solar energy.

Eligible Solar Technologies:

The initiative includes these solar technologies: photovoltaics (PV), solar water heating, transpired solar collectors, solar space heating and cooling, and pool heating.

Why Solar Makes Sense for North Carolina

There are many reasons that solar makes sense for North Carolina. These reasons include:

Energy Independence

The energy in sunlight that falls on NC on an average day is sufficient to provide all of our state’s energy needs for a year. Diversifying our energy supply to capture our own resources protects us from supply disruptions and price fluctuations, and enables us to be more self-sufficient.

Local Job Creation

Since the fuel (sunlight) for solar energy systems is free, the primary costs are for labor-intensive manufacturing, installation, and maintenance. The solar industry generates about 3,000 jobs for every $100 million of module sales. Instead of sending billions of dollars out of the state for fossil fuels, why not use some of that money to create jobs in North Carolina.

Investment in a Growing Market

Solar power has become a multi-billion dollar industry, producing 742 megawatts in 2003 and growing at a brisk 30 to 35 percent per year. Venture capital firms and institutional investors are taking note as both established solar companies and nanotechnology startups compete in a fierce effort to bring down the costs of solar energy. Manufacturers are rapidly increasing production capacity as solar products are snatched up by the Japanese and Germans.

Clean Energy

Solar energy systems do not pollute. They silently convert sunlight to electricity and/or heat day after day without emitting any carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, mercury, or any of the other toxic wastes created by coal-fired and nuclear power plants. Over 60% of North Carolina’s electricity comes from coal, causing air pollution, health problems, environmental degradation, and greenhouse gases. Virtually all the rest comes from nuclear energy, with its unresolved problem of radioactive waste storage. Solar energy can play an important role in addressing problems such as ground level air pollution, global warming, mercury poisoning, and acid rain that affect our state.

Energy Security

The practice of locating small energy generators near end users instead of having a few huge centralized plants is known as “distributed generation.” New technologies have made it practical, and clean renewable energy sources such as solar have made it safe. Distributed systems are less likely to have widespread failures, are relatively quick and easy to repair, and are more secure.