As North Carolina cuts back on supporting solar energy in its latest budget, the state becomes the fourth to pass 1 gigawatt of power generated by solar energy, according to a report from the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association.
The report notes that the solar industry in NC accounts for $1.6 billion in revenue and 4,000 jobs in the state.
North Carolina is the fourth US state to reach the 1GW level, following California, Arizona and New Jersey.
The Association lobbied hard to continue the tax breaks that support the solar industry in the state and said it will renew its battle to support them in next year’s budget.
The NC legislature decided not to extend the renewable energy tax credit in this year’s budget and another measure would freeze the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard at the current 6 percent level. It would increase to 12.5 percent by 2020 if left alone.
Top technology companies including Apple and Google asked the state not to back away from its renewable energy support. Google and Apple have energy-hungry data centers in NC.