Solar For All

North Carolina’s Solar for All Program: EnergizeNC

On April 22, 2024, the EPA awarded the EnergizeNC coalition with a $156,120,000 Solar for All grant. 

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

North Carolina will kick off the one-year planning period by revising the proposed EnergizeNC program from the initial application requesting $250 million. The updated program will achieve the same goals as outlined below, with adjustments in how many residents this program will serve. Please check out the website for more details on the revised program details. 

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On June 28, 2023, EPA released the $7 billion Solar for All Notice of Funding Opportunity, part of the $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund authorized by Congress in the Inflation Reduction Act. The overall goal of the Solar for All competition is to expand the number of low-income and disadvantaged communities that are primed for investment in residential and community solar. The competition will provide up to 60 grants to states, territories, Tribal governments, municipalities, and eligible nonprofit recipients ranging from $25 million to $400 million across the country.

North Carolina’s Proposed EnergizeNC Program

To maximize the benefits to North Carolina's low-income and disadvantaged communities, the EnergizeNC coalition plans to design programs that have the greatest impact with a focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, lessening energy burdens, and improving quality of life. Specifically, the coalition will focus on four goals:  

Goal #1: Create a comprehensive project management approach over a one-year planning period to include input from low-income and disadvantaged communities. 

Goal #2: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower energy costs, and foster environmental justice through the installation of rooftop solar at low-income single-family and multifamily units across North Carolina, including community solar access.  

Goal #3: Foster and develop a trained workforce to deploy solar in all regions of the state, especially in minority and tribal communities, while working to ensure transparent ethical and business practices that protect consumers from potential market abuses.  

Goal #4: Provide robust community engagement to ensure that project benefits flow to disadvantaged communities and individuals.  

To bring the highest impact to North Carolina families, EnergizeNC will focus its financial incentive programs on providing meaningful household energy savings in three priority areas:

  • Rooftop solar (and, in limited cases, storage) installation in single-family homes; 

  •  Behind-the-meter solar installation at multifamily housing owned and operated by nonprofit and public organizations;

  •  Community solar pilot programs, many with municipal utilities and electric co-ops, which will lower energy costs for participating households.  

Tab/Accordion Items

On October 11, 2023, the North Carolina EnergizeNC coalition, 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, successfully submitted our EPA Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Solar for All grant application. 

In the application, the coalition requested $250,000,000 to develop and execute a robust and equitable program enabling the rapid deployment of distributed solar and associated storage with meaningful benefits to over 20,000 low-income and disadvantaged communities across the state, including state- and federally recognized tribal lands, resulting in at least 69.5 megawatts of residential solar by the end of the five-year program. Please see the grant application’s executive summary for additional detail on the proposed programs.

Read the Application's Executive Summary   

Check out EnergizeNC’s Solar for All program fact sheet

Additional resources:

The Coalition's strength lies not only in the technical expertise of its four members but also in the multi-sectorial partnership of over 60 organizations that have offered letters of support for our Solar for All application. These organizations include:

350 Triangle | Appalachian Voices | Black Wall Street AVL | Black Owners of Solar | Buncombe County | Catawba Center for the Environment | Center for Energy Education | Center for Environmental and Resource Economic Policy| Center for Progressive Reform | City of Asheville | City of Charlotte | City of Greensboro | City of Wilmington | Clean Aire North Carolina | Climate Reality Project, Charlotte | DHIC | Duke Energy | Eagle Solar and Light | ElectriCities | EnerWealth Solutions | Environmental Justice Community Action Network | Generation 180 | Good Solar Organization | Green Built Alliance | Habitat for Humanity NC | Inclusive Prosperity Capital | Interfaith Creation of the Triangle | MDC Rural Forward | Mountain Housing Opportunities | NC 100 | NC Black Alliance | NC Business Committee for Education | NC Climate Justice Collective | NC Commission of Indian Affairs | NC Community Colleges / ApprenticeshipNC | NC Conservation Network | NC Council of Churches | NC Electric Cooperatives | NC Environmental Justice Network | NC Governor's Office | NC Housing Finance Agency | NC Interfaith Power and Light | NC Justice Center | NC League of Conservation Voters | NC League of Municipalities | NC NAACP | NC Sierra Club | NC Sustainable Energy Association | NC Works Commission | Raleigh Area Land Trust | Raleigh Housing Authority | Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster | Self-Help Credit Union | Southern Environmental Law Center |State Employees Credit Union | Thrive NC: Jobs and Climate Coalition | Town of Chapel Hill | Town of Davidson | Toxic Free NC | United Way Cape Fear Region | United Way North Carolina

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Notice of Intent Deadline: July 31, 2023 
Full Application Deadline: October 12, 2023 
Announcement of EPA Awards: April 22, 2024 
Program Planning:  Spring 2024 -Spring 2025 
Target Application Period: Mid-2025