Duke Energy wants to offer $62 million solar rebate program

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When Duke Energy proposes a solar rebate, they do not hold back.

This morning, the North Carolina-based utility announced it would pursue a $62 million rebate program in front of the North Carolina Utilities Commission to comply with the 2017’s Competitive Energy Solutions for North Carolina law passed last year.

Under the rebate structure, residential customers would receive a rebate of 60 cents per watt for solar energy systems 10 kilowatts (kW) or less.

The utility says it currently has nearly 6,000 customers with rooftop solar systems that amount to around 50 MW of capacity. It says that for a typical rooftop array, which it pegs at 8 kW, would save $4,800. For arrays 10 kW or larger, the rebate would be capped at $6,000.

But residential customers aren’t the only ones eligible for the rebate. Commercial customers would receive a rebate of 50 cents per watt, while nonprofit customers (such as churches and schools) could be eligible for enhanced rebate of 75 cents per watt for systems 100 kW or less.

Systems 100 kW or larger would receive a maximum rebate of $50,000 for non-residential customers or $75,000 for nonprofit customers.

Duke says the rebate program, if approved, could raise North Carolina’s private solar market by 200% over the next five years.

“The proposed solar rebates program is the result of two years of collaboration between the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association and Duke Energy,” said Ivan Urlaub, NCSEA’s executive director. “If approved, this program will enable more North Carolinians across our state to realize the cost-saving benefits of solar.”

In 2018, Duke Energy will roll out additional programs to help customers go solar if they wish:

  • Shared Solar – Will allow customers to subscribe to the output of a nearby solar facility and provides an alternative for customers who do not want, or can’t have, a solar array on their property.
  • Green Source Advantage – Will allow large customers to secure solar power to offset the amount of power purchased from Duke Energy. This is an expanded version of a pilot program Duke Energy Carolinas provided.