By Dawn Wallace
The Solarize Chatham County program has resulted in more residential solar panel installations than previous solarize programs in the state.
Solarize projects allow customers to buy solar panels from local installers in bulk to receive discounts. Generally one company is chosen for the work, but Cary-based Yes! Solar Solutions and Morrisville-based Southern Energy Management worked together on this project.
Since the program launched during the summer, Solarize Chatham County has installed 56 solar panel systems on homes, which will generate 319 kilowatts of solar power, according to Jim Warren of NC WARN, a Durham-based clean energy advocate.
Nine solarize programs have been offered in North Carolina since mid-2013, and not all were sponsored by the same organizations. Collectively, these programs added 1.3 megawatts in new solar power on 260 roofs.
“Being a designated installer for the Solarize programs has enabled us to add 11 full-time permanent positions,” says Kathy Miller, CEO of Yes! Solar Solutions. “Our team takes pride in helping make solar more accessible and affordable to everyone. Solarize has had a significant impact on the growth of renewable energy and businesses like Yes!”
Meanwhile, Solarize Orange County, which launched around the same time as Solarize Chatham County, has 19 installations so far and will generate 90 kilowatts. Two new solarize projects in the state that will conclude by the end of the year are Clean Energy for Raleigh and Clean Energy for Western N.C., which includes Flat Rock, Hendersonville and south Asheville. Plans are underway for Solarize Triad and western Wake in 2015.
Here’s a look at solarize projects in the state, ranked by installations:
- Solarize Chatham – 56 contracts = 319 kilowatts
- Solarize Asheville – 52 contracts = 251 kilowatts
- Solarize Carrboro – 40 contracts = 192 kilowatts
- Solarize Charlotte – 37 contracts = 163 kilowatts
- Solarize Durham – 33 contracts = 161 kilowatts
- Clean Energy for Buncombe – 22 contracts = 125 kilowatts
- Solarize Orange – 19 contracts = 90 kilowatts
Read more here.