In the New South, customer demand is showing utilities the dollars and sense in solar


The Southeast had 200 MW of solar capacity in 2012, but led by North Carolina’s Duke Energy utilities and Georgia Power, it had 6 GW at the end of 2017, according to Solar in the Southeast, released in February by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE). Even utilities not aggressively building solar now realize customers want solar — it is affordable, and there are ways it can serve utility purposes.

Utilities in the Southeast are responding to rising customer demand for renewables by capturing the economic opportunity in a solar resource second only to sun in the desert Southwest in the United States. Existing contracts and commitments promise over 10 GW of solar capacity in the Southeast by 2019 and as much as 15 GW by 2021, according to SACE. The growth has been and will continue to be almost entirely in utility-scale solar.

Utilities in the conservative Southeast have taken little notice of solar beyond its ability to meet growing residential and commercial customer demand at increasingly attractive prices. A third factor, which has emerged only recently in the wake of climate change-driven extreme storms and power outages, is solar's potential resilience value. While the overall national trend for solar installations is upward, there have been... Read the rest of the story on HERE