Durham, NC, Goes Solar with SunPower®
Solar energy: A bright new leaf in Durham's rich history
The state of solar in Durham
Durham is well-suited for solar power with a UV index of 4.6 and around 220 sunny days per year, both above the national average.* In 2018, the city resolved to transition to 80% green energy by 2030, stepping up to 100% by 2050. It has already taken steps to meet these goals.
- *. Best Places. Climate in Durham North Carolina
How much solar energy does Durham produce?
Durham County has 24.577 MW of installed solar capacity via 772 installations. According to Google's Project Sunroof, about 49,400 rooftops in Durham City are solar viable with upwards of 149 existing installations.* The city installed its first solar array in 2019 atop Fire and EMS Station 17 with a capacity of 46.4 KW. Duke University's Research Drive Garage also features a 750 KW system.
- *. Google’s Project Sunroof. Estimated rooftop solar potential of Durham, NC.
What are the advantages of going solar in Durham?
The State of North Carolina has been ahead of the curve with its adoption of solar energy. In 2007, the state legislature passed North Carolina's Renewable Portfolio Standard, making it one of the nation's top states in utility-scale solar energy production.
The 2017, House Bill 589 added competitive bidding for solar developers, a community solar program, a statewide solar rooftop leasing program, an energy storage study, and the Green Source Advantage Program*, which enables large businesses, universities, and the military to directly procure renewable energy.
All of this, combined with the presence of solar advocacy organizations, is good news for Durham residents, as it means that the state's solar industry will likely keep expanding. It also tallies with Durhams' sustainable energy goals. If solar energy keeps on growing, Durham home and business owners can expect long-term reduced energy costs.
- *. Duke Energy Progress, Renewable Energy Program Available to North Carolina Large Business Customers.
How much does solar cost in Durham?
The cost of a home solar system can vary, even in the same city, due to a range of factors. These include:
Quality of the solar system
Angle of the roof
Type of roof
Available roof space
Shading of roof
To help you understand the price of going solar in your area, we've analyzed SunPower price quotes, as well as quotes gathered by third-party sources,* for thousands of homeowners across the country.
In Durham, we found that the cost of buying a 5 kW solar system ranges from $12,000 to $20,850, or in other words, from $2.40 to $4.17 per watt. And that's before considering the benefits of any available tax credits or incentives.
Over the past five years, the average cost of solar panels in North Carolina has dropped by approximately 45%.* Duke Energy also offers North Carolina homeowners a $0.6/watt rebate for systems up to 10 kilowatts, equating to a $3,000 rebate for an average 5 kW system.
The program has an annual capacity limit of 20 MW. Enrollment opens in January and July each year and is open until 50% of the annual capacity is reached. That capacity is split 50/50 between residential and commercial applicants, meaning there is a 5 MW limit for each installation type every six months.*
In addition to this rebate, you also may be able to take advantage of net metering and a 26% federal tax credit. Net metering is a billing agreement between a utility company and customers that credits solar energy system owners for their electricity. If your utility company offers net metering, you can earn credits on your electricity bill from any excess energy produced by your solar panels. This service is available for many NC Customers.*
- *. Local Solar Installers 2020/2021, Solar Reviews 2021, Energy Sage 2021, Wood Mackenzie 2020, National Renewable Energy Laboratory 2020
- *. SEIA, North Carolina Solar, Q3 2020
- *. Duke Energy Corporation. NC Solar Rebate Program.
- *. The availability of net metering varies by location and is subject to change. Your SunPower Dealer can help you determine if you qualify. You can also visit the dsireusa.org website for detailed solar policy information.
What's the best way to go solar in Durham?
It's important to remember that not all solar systems are the same. Your system's efficiency, quality, and durability will all depend on your chosen solar provider.
Your system's output will result directly from the quality and number of panels you choose to install. Your budget, energy needs, and available roof space will guide you in making this decision. To generate surplus energy for storage or selling back to your energy provider for credits, you might decide to install the maximum number of high-efficiency solar panels your property will accommodate.
If you're new to solar energy, don't worry—we can work with you to help you find the perfect solution.
At SunPower, we provide the most efficient solar panels available* and take the guesswork out of going solar by offering free consultations. During the consultation, we'll answer your questions, create a custom system design and savings estimate, provide a price quote, and discuss available incentives and tax credits.
Get started now by requesting your consultation. We'll follow-up with a quick call to schedule a time.
You can also call us directly at (800) 786-7693.
- *. Based on datasheet review of websites of top 20 manufacturers per IHS, as of June 2020
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