April 26, 2018

NC Energy


North Carolina and the Energy Consumer

North Carolina’s first electric lights sizzled to life in 1881. Arc lamps ran off a rotor inside a magnetic field. It was a cotton mill in Salem, NC. Almost 140 years later:

  • North Carolina became the third-largest producer ofelectricity generated from solar photovoltaics (PV).
  • NC is a pioneer in nuclear power, which contributed the largest share of North Carolina’s electricity generation, more than 30 percent (2016 figure).
  • Natural gas-fired generation was 30 percent, exceeding coal’s share of 28 percent of the state’s net generation for the first time (2016 figure).
  • In 2017, a wind farm with 208 megawatts of capacity came online in North Carolina; largest wind farm in the Southeast at the time.

Changes continue in the NC energy profile:

  • Whether to build additional natural gas supply lines into the state is hotly debated.
  • Independent solar farm builders have fanned across the state. Counties are responding with local ordinances about the installations.
  • Traditional investor-owned utilities are responding to market demands, new fuel options, and changing regulatory environments.
  • Customers have gained new leverage as technology makes energy efficiency and local generation possible as never before.

Energy Consumers of the Carolinas devotes this space to issues in North Carolina: Observations, questions, and viewpoints from people across a spectrum of energy and consumer interests.


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