Progress Energy to expand solar incentives

Good news for customers of Progress Energy: the North Carolina-based utility announced yesterdayplans to expand the scope of SunSense, its solar energy incentiveprogram. Check out this statement from Progress CEO, Bill Johnson:

“We are committed to implementing a balanced energystrategy to provide reliable electricity to the homes and businessesthat depend on us, while keeping costs to customers as low as possible.Solar power will play an increasingly important role in providing cleanenergy for the regions we serve, and as cost-effective technologiescontinue to develop, we will work to bring new choices for ourcustomers and make smart investments on larger-scale solar projects.”

The utility estimates that, over the next decade, the expandedprogram will add over 100 megawatts (mW) of installed solar poweracross Florida and the Carolinas. Here’s a quick run down of theanticipated incentive levels:

  • Residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems will be eligible for arebate of $1.50 to $2.00 per watt, which will offset system costs byapproximately 25 percent. This solar rebate is a new offer, and will beavailable in North Carolina and South Carolina beginning late thissummer. Solar rebates will be made available in Florida beginning in2010.
  • Commercial solar PV systems will be eligible to receive aproduction-based incentive — i.e., a payment for each kilowatt-hour(kWh) of electricity generated by the system. Like the residentialprogram, commercial solar incentives will be available starting latethis summer in the Carolinas, and beginning in 2010 in Florida. Detailswill be made available in the near future.

Also, let’s not forget that Progress Energy already sponsors a pilot programto provide rebates for residents in Florida and the Carolinas whoinstall solar water heating (solar thermal) systems. This summer, solarthermal incentives will be extended to businesses in the Carolinas.Currently, there are no plans to make such incentives available toFlorida businesses.

Keep your eye on Progress Energy’s website, as details will be forthcoming.

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