Dr. Alex Hobbs, P.E
North Carolina Solar
Center Box 7401
tel: (919) 515-5666
The North Carolina
Solar Center (NCSC), located in the College
of Engineering at North Carolina State University, develops
programs that encourage residents throughout the state to use
solar energy. Created in 1988, the North Carolina Solar Center
serves as a clearinghouse for solar and other renewable energy
programs, information, research, technical assistance, and
training for the citizens of North Carolina and beyond. Through
its programs and services, the Solar Center seeks to stabilize
energy costs for consumers, stimulate local economies, reduce
dependence on foreign fuels, and mitigate the environmental
impacts associated with fossil fuels. By capitalizing on its
close ties with the state government of North Carolina, North
Carolina State University, the renewable energy industry, and
various non-profit organizations, the Solar Center has developed
into one of the premier renewable energy centers in the United
The following NC Solar Center programs highlight our participation
in the Solar and Green Building arenas but we also have programs
in Energy Policy, Wind, Biomass, Alternative Fuel Vehicles,
Combined Heat and Power, and Industry Efficiency.
HealthyBuilt Homes program has been launched in North
Carolina with a focus on providing support for small to medium
size homebuilders that may not have the resources to compete
in the rapidly emerging field of green building. The program
is designed with two tiers:
1. A statewide umbrella organization that administers the
overall program, sets statewide guidelines, provides technical
support, and coordinates training, marketing and certification;
2. Local partnerships with organizations such as home builder
associations that administer and promote the program in their
community, tailoring it to local conditions and code requirements.
NC HealthyBuilt Homes is a statewide collaboration between
the NC Solar Center, the State Energy Office, NC Department
of Administration and local communities. In addition, HealthyBuilt
Homes recognizes and gives credit for the following programs:
Environments for Living
Carolina Green Building Technology Database
The NC Solar Center administers the North Carolina Green
Building Technology Database. The purpose of this database
is to help individuals find projects in the State of North
Carolina that have implemented specific green building techniques,
strategies, or technologies.
This searchable database is a collection of case studies,
but it is organized in such a way that you can identify projects
by any one of about 140 techniques, strategies, and technologies
related to green building. You can also search and identify
projects by location, building type, or site condition.
Solar Roofs Initiative
The NC Solar Center is the coordinator for the
Carolina Million Solar Roofs Initiative partnership.
Five community partnerships have been formed across the state:
Asheville and surrounding counties, the Town of Chapel Hill
, the city and county of Durham , Guilford County and Watauga
County . The Solar Center is recruiting additional communities
to join the program
Each MSRI partnership consists of a wide variety of local stakeholders that
may include architects, solar installers, builders, local government representatives,
educators, solar home owners, and interested citizens. Each group develops
and executes a plan to promote the adoption of solar products and services
in their community. Strategies include increasing demand through public education,
providing training to architects, builders, installers and inspectors, reducing
barriers at state and local levels, and making it easier for consumers to purchase,
install and service quality solar equipment.
of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE)
In late 1995, the U.S. Department of Energy initiated
program, entitled the National
of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) to survey
each of the 50 states to identify financial or regulatory policies
designed to encourage the use of renewable energy. The
NCSC has been selected as the principal subcontractor to collect
and prepare this information, which will be entered into a
database and made available over the Internet.
DSIRE is a comprehensive,
user-friendly and free source of information on state, local,
utility and selected federal incentives that promote renewable
energy. With a single click of the mouse, DSIRE provides you
with a list of renewable energy incentives available in any
U.S. state you choose. The incentives are divided into three
Financial Incentives including tax credits, deductions and
exemptions; grants, loans, rebates, etc.
Outreach and Voluntary Programs including green power programs,
outreach programs, renewable energy system installer certification,
Rules, Regulations & Policies including net metering,
public benefits funds, renewables portfolio standards, fuel
mix generation disclosure, solar access laws, solar contractor
licensing, green power purchases, etc.
DSIRE also offers color-coded
summary maps that provide a geographical view of the availability
of a specific incentive across the United States . In addition,
an FAQ section, a glossary, a search function, and a list of
relevant links are available.
Solar House at North Carolina State University
and opened to the public in 1981, the Solar House at North
Carolina State University is one of the most visible and visited
solar buildings in the United States . Over the last two decades,
more than 250,000 people from around the world have toured
First and foremost, the Solar House is a resource to help
meet your solar energy needs. Since the NC Solar Center was
founded in 1988, the Solar House has served as its educational
and demonstration showcase for solar and energy-efficient technologies.
Specialists and graduate students are available to answer visitors’ questions
and help them get the information they need. A reference
library and media center, the latter including more than
100 videotapes available for viewing or loan, are provided
for public use. A multi-media station provides access to renewable
energy Internet sites, a CD-ROM encyclopedia, and a variety
of computer programs.
Beyond the educational value of the Solar House, the building,
together with an adjacent research annex, is a living laboratory
for solar research.
Numerous graduate student theses and dissertations have focused
on the House. By monitoring, metering and compiling data, we
have determined how well the Solar House works, under what
weather conditions, and what it costs to operate. The total
heating bill per winter for the Solar House averages less than
In addition to viewing the Solar House through our web site,
we hope you have the opportunity to visit us in person. We
appreciate your interest and support of solar energy!
Carolina Daylighting Consortium
The purpose of the North
Carolina Daylighting Consortium (NCDLC) is to improve
the quality of life of and reduce economic and environmental
costs for the citizens of North Carolina through the use
of natural light in buildings.
The NC Solar Center is acting as coordinator for this new
group of design professionals that is enabling the use of daylighting
in buildings through identifying best practices, conducting
research projects, assisting in developing government policy,
promoting education and training, and conducting case studies.
Commercial & Institutional
The NC Solar Center provides commercial/institutional design
review services for contractors, architects, engineers, owners
and others involved in the design of commercial and institutional
of Renewable Energy Professionals
The Directory of Renewable Energy Professionals is one of
the ways in which the North Carolina Solar Center promotes
the adoption of renewable energy and supports the progressive
companies that have made a commitment to sustainability and
to serving the State of North Carolina .
This directory provides an easy-to-use tool for locating companies that provide
renewable energy products and services to North Carolina citizens and organizations.
It includes not only solar energy, but also wind, geothermal, energy efficiency
and other technologies that reduce pollution and dependence on unsustainable
energy sources. The companies represented include product manufacturers, designers,
consultants and building trades.
Workshops & Events
The North Carolina Solar Center hosts and helps organize
events related to renewable energy and green buildings in various
locations around the state. The general public is welcome to
attend these functions, many of which are free of charge.
For a complete listing and description of upcoming events,
see the Solar Center ’s calendar
The NCSC has developed numerous publications on a variety
of topics, including Solar Homes for North Carolina II,
Passive & Active Solar Domestic Hot Water Systems, Siting
of Active Solar Collectors, General Daylighting /
Lighting, Energy Efficiency, Micro-Hydro, Passive Solar, Photovoltaics,
Wind Energy, Heating Your Swimming Pool with Solar Energy and Do-It-Yourself
Solar Energy Guides. Please visit our Publications site
for a complete list.
Management/Partnerships: The North Carolina Solar
Center is sponsored by the State Energy Office of the N.C.
Department of Administration and the U.S. Department of Energy
in cooperation with North Carolina State University.
contact the program for the latest figures.
Served: Residents, developers and communities in
North Carolina interested in increasing their use of solar
and other renewable energy.
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