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Governor Cooper Announces $156 million EPA Award to Strengthen Solar Energy Use in Communities Across North Carolina



Governor Roy Cooper announced that EnergizeNC, North Carolina’s Solar for All coalition, has been selected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for $156 million in funding through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) grant program. This funding will help households across the state utilize the benefits of low-cost, reliable solar energy, particularly in low-income and disadvantaged communities.


"North Carolina continues to lead the way toward a clean energy future and we are grateful to be selected by the EPA for this groundbreaking grant program,” said Governor Cooper. “This funding will help cut energy costs and help families across North Carolina live cleaner and healthier lives.”


The EnergizeNC coalition is led by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s State Energy Office, in collaboration with Advanced Energy, the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center, and the North Carolina Clean Energy Fund. The EnergizeNC proposal is designed to deploy rooftop solar on low-income homes in order to save North Carolinians money.


“The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Solar for All program is an important opportunity for low- and moderate-income North Carolinians to access and enjoy the benefits of clean energy, including utility cost reductions,” said Julie Woosley, Director of DEQ's State Energy Office. “More than 70 organizations have offered letters of support for the EnergizeNC proposal, and we look forward to working with community stakeholders across the state to bring the greatest impact.”


“The Solar for All funding from EPA will bring clean energy to households for whom energy costs are a big slice of their household budget. The North Carolina EnergizeNC program design aligns solar with existing low-income energy efficiency efforts, to provide long-term affordability. We will complement the low-income efforts with work to expand accessible home energy financing for households statewide.” said Melissa Malkin-Weber, Co-Director of the North Carolina Clean Energy Fund.


The EnergizeNC coalition will launch a statewide program to transform solar growth in the state, enabling the rapid deployment of distributed solar and associated storage with meaningful benefits to low-income and disadvantaged communities across the state, including state- and federally recognized Tribal lands. Throughout the project, the Coalition will focus on four goals: (i) create a comprehensive program management approach; (ii) reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower energy costs, and foster environmental justice; (iii) foster and develop a trained workforce; and (iv) provide robust community engagement to ensure that project benefits flow to disadvantaged communities and individuals.


“The scale of this program will allow us to overcome traditional market barriers to distributed solar by exploring innovative approaches that maximize deployment within our current regulatory framework,” said Autumn Proudlove, Associate Director – Policy & Markets at the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center. “The program will also require us to think through ways to bring more installation expertise into the marketplace and to develop methodologies that enhance energy savings and deliver quality outcomes for consumers,” added Steve Kalland, Executive Director of the Center.


“This is a historic opportunity for North Carolina. Advanced Energy is excited to work with our coalition partners and other stakeholders to ensure that the installed systems are safe, durable and reliable, and that they perform as expected to provide financial savings and environmental benefits for our underserved communities,” said Brian Coble, Chief Operating Officer at Advanced Energy.

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