RALEIGH – North Carolina is second in solar power generation across the US, according to a new report.

The state ranks second to California and rose from fourth place in 2016, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Solar providers boosted North Carolina’s capacity by more than 1,200 megawatts last year, up from 1,014 megawatts being added in 2016.

California is by far the largest provider.

Sean Gallagher, SEIA’s vice president of state affairs in North Carolina, told The Asheville Citizen-Times that growth is being driven in most part by utility-scale development.

“The state has fostered strong energy policy with the only Renewable Portfolio Standard in the south, which mandates that the state’s utilities diversify their portfolio with a certain amount of renewables,” Gallagher told the newspaper. “The state also had strong support for renewable generators, provided a financeable contracting environment, and protected their rights to connect to the grid, allowing much needed competition in our monopoly utility environment.”

Looking ahead to 2018, Gallagher said he  expects more rooftop solar generation with “new rebates in effect.”

Here’s a look at the state of the NC solar industry:

  • Solar Installed (MW): 4,308.3
  • National Ranking: 2nd (2nd in 2017)
  • State Homes Powered by Solar: 486,339
  • Percentage of State’s Electricity from Solar: 4.42%
  • Solar Jobs: 7,622
  • Solar Companies in State: 234 (41 Manufacturers, 106 Installers/Developers, 81 Others)
  • Total Solar Investment in State $6,395.24 million
  • Prices have fallen 55% in the last five years
  • Growth Projection and Ranking: 4,481 MW over the next 5 years (ranks 3rd)

Read more online.

Check out NC statistics online.