Program supports more secure future for North Carolina’s energy, environment and economy
July 1, 2005
Raleigh, N.C. – Agreements were awarded today to North Carolina’s first renewable energy producers in the NC GreenPower program, a landmark renewable energy program that provides cleaner energy options for the state. Energy for the program will be generated from the sun, wind, small hydro, methane gas and agricultural waste, all of which are cleaner sources of energy and are replenished by nature. All energy generated for the NC GreenPower program will be produced in North Carolina for the state’s power supply.In addition to working to protect the environment, the program also supports a more stable energy and economic future for the state.
“This program is important for North Carolina because it encourages the development of technologies that can harness energy sources that will provide cleaner and renewable energy options for homes and businesses throughout the state,” said Dr. Robert K. Koger, president of NC GreenPower. “This type of energy provides a more stable future for North Carolina’s environment, economy and energy.”
Producers were selected from responses to a request for proposals (RFP) and qualifications process. All energy proposed for generation in the program will come from resources in the state. All of the state’s electric utilities are working with NC GreenPower and its producers to make the renewable energy available for North Carolina’s power supply.
NC GreenPower is the state’s first program (and the nation’s first multi-utility program) that encourages the development of technology to transform renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, and biomass sources into safe and environmentally sustainable power. Powering homes and businesses in North Carolina, NC GreenPower operates by using voluntary contributions from residential and business consumers.
The NC GreenPower program was approved by the N.C. Utilities Commission in January 2003 and began accepting contributions on July 28, 2003. To date, the program is averaging 17 million kilowatt hours annually. The program is made possible by contributions. Residential and business consumers alike may sign up for the program by visiting www.ncgreenpower.org. Because of NC GreenPower’s non-profit status, all contributions are tax deductible.
NC GreenPower is a subsidiary of Advanced Energy, a Raleigh-based non-profit corporation that helps residential, industrial and utility customers improve the return on their energy investment. Agreements for the generation of renewable energy for the NC GreenPower program were awarded to:
- Solar Future Vision Solar Farm (Apex, Wake County)
- N.C. Solar Center (Raleigh, Wake County)
- Private citizens Larry Bohs and Libby Searles-Bohs (Hillsborough, Orange County)
- Private citizen Nancy B. Carter (Highlands, Macon County)
- Private citizens Chris and Gretchen Witzgall (Apex, Wake County)
- Landfill / methane gas Methane Credit (Dudley, Wayne County)
- Agricultural waste Reusing Existing Nutrients, Energy and Water (Kenansville, Duplin County)
NC GreenPower received 46 responses from producers to provide renewable energy for the program. These agreements are the first to be awarded from NC GreenPower to meet the initial demand from customers; however, as the program continues to grow, NC GreenPower will issue another RFP to obtain additional resources in order to continue to meet the growing demand for renewable energy.
To date, the program has received support from 5,220 customers statewide, with monthly contributions averaging 14,500 blocks of energy per month [one block is equal to 100 kilowatt hours (kWh); the average house uses 1,000 kWh of energy each month. To participate in the program, energy consumers can contribute a minimum of $4 per month in addition to their electric bill total.]. This is like planting more than two million trees or 33 square miles of forest at 100 trees per acre. This also is the environmental equivalent of 2,900 people not driving their cars for one year.
Governments and businesses supporting the program through voluntary contributions include Eisai, Dominion North Carolina Power, Duke Energy, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM, Lowe’s Home Improvement, N.C. Department of Administration’s State Energy Office, N.C. Department of Justice — Attorney General’s Office, N.C. Electric Membership Cooperatives, N.C. Pork Council, N.C. Public Power (ElectriCities), Progress Energy, Research Triangle Institute, Smithfield Foods and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Program affiliates are Environmental Defense, N.C. Council of Churches – Interfaith Eco-Justice Network, N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, N.C. Solar Center and N.C. Sustainable Energy Association.