Eastern North Carolina has the majority of solar farms and the South's first wind farm. However, benefits have not led to increased employment for minorities living here. Further, future clean energy is threatened by misinformed policymakers. The proposed project will address these concerns. Renewable energy and energy efficiency training scholarships will support minority students at Eastern North Carolina community colleges. This experience will inspire and prepare students for entry into the clean energy workforce. Further a train-the-trainer model to continue training at these community colleges will be implemented. Bus tours for elected policymakers and staff involved with planning, permitting and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects will educate decision makers. Day tours led by energy policy experts to renewable energy and energy efficient facilities will follow with customized services to facilitate policy change. Educational forums to dispel myths and highlight clean energy employment will expand economic development potential.
The NC Solar Center will be coordinating the efforts of the Landfill Gas Ad Hoc Commity to help promote and facilitate the development of landfill gas to energy in North Carolina. The project has three main tasks: conduct site visits to potential LFG sites; produce a packet of information for LFG development; and staging a Landfill Gas to Energy Technical Workshop.
Achieving Solar Results in North Carolina - A Statewide Community Outreach Model In the past year alone, events such as EPA's designation of North Carolina counties as non-attainment areas for ozone and extensive damage to the state from hurricanes and flooding, illustrate the need for communities to understand how to meet their energy needs and challenges. The North Carolina Solar Center (Solar Center) and the North Carolina (NC) Million Solar Roofs (MSR) Initiative Partnership propose a project to work in communities across the state of North Carolina to assist them as they build demand for solar energy products and the infrastructure to serve them. The Solar Center, a clearinghouse for solar energy programs, information, research, technical assistance and training since 1988, has been the lead agency for the NC MSR Partnership since 1999. Currently, the Solar Center is using a 2004 Department of Energy MSR grant to encourage and enable NC municipal and county governments to overcome barriers to solar, educate them about solar opportunities, and to provide technical support for solar-related projects. To build on this work with local governments, the Solar Center proposes a project to work with eight MSR community partners active in 25 counties who are partners in the statewide NC MSR program. State level activities and programs coordinated by the Solar Center focus on supporting these MSR communities and providing them access to the resources and expertise to help them be successful locally. The key objectives of our statewide community outreach model project are: - Encourage and enable the NC MSR Community Partners to provide outreach and education about solar technologies in their communities. The Solar Center will provide financial and policy tools and technical support to the communities. The Center will assist them in finding and applying for local support. This will lay the groundwork to promote the adoption of these technologies and will result in the installation of these systems. - Make technical training available for key decision makers in each MSR community. The Solar Center will make available scholarships for technical training of solar technologies to each local community group for use by critical local stakeholders like utility protection engineers, code inspectors, policymakers, or other local partnership members. - Identify systems that have been installed and track future installations using our NC Renewable Energy Registry. The Solar Center will continue to contact installers in the state and educate them about the value to their customers, their businesses and state policymakers of the Registry. - Provide leadership to the Southeastern MSR Partnerships through training opportunities and offering support on adopting the NC models for local community partnerships and installation tracking. The Solar Center and the NC MSR Partnership will assist other Southeastern MSR Partnerships by working with them to provide low cost technical training opportunities for their constituents. This will enable them to assist their installers with training and to help build their installer infrastructure, benefiting the entire Southeast. Our comprehensive community model approach, together with our Implementation Plan, which serves as a roadmap for the state for meeting our goals, result in a multi-faceted plan for promoting solar in NC by engaging local communities, boosting demand, reducing barriers, developing infrastructure, tracking solar installations, and partnering with others. North Carolina is positioning itself to meet our goal of 3,000 new solar installations by 2010.