NC Solar Energy Info


This is a collection of general North Carolina laws, studies, documents, agencies, etc. that pertain to industrial solar energy. [See our general Solar page for more information about solar energy, and issues with it.]

NC Model Solar Law: This is a proposed ordinance for commercial solar projects. We created this with the perspective that local legislators have the legal obligation to protect the health, safety and welfare of local citizens, the local economy, and the local environment. Feel free to copy, paste and edit this model as necessary for your community. [Note 1: please email me if you’d like an editable Word version of the NC Model Solar Law. Note 2: here is a good model solar law that addresses small scale solar — e.g. rooftop applications.]

Senate Bill 3: 2007 (A renewable energy mandate, or RPS [Renewable Portfolio Standard]. This lobbyist-driven directive forces NC utility companies to use a certain percentage of renewable energy (including solar), by certain dates. The actual result is that a large portion of this is being met with industrial solar energy. Due to this driver, NC has now become the state with the third highest amount of installed solar.)

H298: 2013 (A proposed bill to fix the problems with SB-3. It was withdrawn from the legislative floor due to political infighting.)

I wrote both an Economic and Environmental report, showing the benefits of fixing SB-3 (2013).

H332: 2015 (A proposed bill to fix some of the problems with SB-3, by reducing the renewable energy mandate.)

I updated the earlier Economic report to again show the many benefits of fixing SB-3 (2015).

This bill went through several iterations, and failed: H681 —> H760 —> H332. Here is a brief history.

S843: 2016 (The first attempt at a basic statewide permitting process for solar energy. This was unsuccessful.)

H589: 2017 (This passed law increased the solar mandate, while fixing some financial matters.)


H280: 2013 (A proposed bill to assure that the NC Utility Commission Public Staff was adhering to their statutorial requirement of exclusively representing the best interest of NC citizens, businesses and ratepayers. It was pulled due to politics.)


NC Solar Credits, Rebates, etc.

See this interesting list of some 75 NC renewable energy subsidies (which is addition to the 35± federal subsidies).

American Planning Association’s answers to frequently asked questions on Solar energy.

NC Utilities Statute: 1967 (Chapter 62 defines the rules that the NC Utilities Commission [NCUC] is supposed to apply when reviewing new energy projects.)

NCUC Docket Information (includes Search function, how to file as an Intervenor, etc.).

The NC Joint Legislative Committee on Energy Policy is an influential legislative committee that has periodic hearings on energy matters. State energy laws often begin in this Committee.

The NC Energy Policy Council (2014) is a new state organization that is charged with advising on state energy policies. Their website has the videos and transcripts of prior meetings — and several presentations should be of interest to the public.

The 2015 NC Energy Report (DENR/DEQ) has some excellent observations.

The NC School of Government is a part of UNC. It’s purpose is to provide local officials their opinion on the legality of proposed legislation (e.g. a new solar ordinance). Ultimately it’s up to local legislators to make the call.

[Note: I am not an attorney, so nothing on this website should be misconstrued as giving legal advice. My counsel has always been, and continues to be, to consult with a competent attorney prior to making any legal decisions.]