Solar Energy Use In North Carolina Continues To Grow

Solar Energy Use In North Carolina Continues To Grow

7:30am Oct 24, 2014
Several years ago, Guilford College partnered with a company called FLS Energy in Asheville to install more than 200 solar panels, which provide hot water on campus.
Julie Knight/The Triad Business Journal

A report released earlier this month by the Pew Charitable Trust extolled the virtues of a “new cash crop” in North Carolina. Here's a hint – it’s not hogs or chickens, tobacco or soybeans.

WFDD contributor Justin Catanoso gives the answer in his column this week in the Business Journal. “It’s solar energy,” he says. “North Carolina has 100 solar energy farms, which is the fifth highest capacity in the country.”

Catanosos says the increase in the use of solar energy in the state didn’t happen by accident and was really part of a policy by the legislature in 2007 to adopt renewable energy and energy efficiency portfolio standards.  

He says the cost of solar panels is coming down, making it viable for more businesses and individuals.  "Guilford College is using more than 200 solar panels on campus to heat water for dorms and food service," says Catanoso. “Many people are investing in solar energy because it saves money, but more importantly, there’s less carbon emissions in the air because the electricity is not coming from a gas or coal-fired power plant in the state.”

The Business Report on 88.5 WFDD is a partnership with the Triad Business Journal. You'll find his story and more breaking business news at

Justin Catanoso is director of the Journalism program at Wake Forest University and a regular contributor to 88.5 WFDD.

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