Almost one year after its launch, Duke Energy's Solar Rebate Program has paid almost $5 million in rebates to South Carolina customers who have invested in solar power at their residences or businesses.
The rebates help with the upfront cost of installing solar panels for customers – making the technology more accessible to the company's 730,000 customers in the state.
"The response to the rebate program has been fantastic," said Clark Gillespy, Duke Energy's South Carolina state president. "This shows our customers want options to help them participate in a sustainable solar energy marketplace."
Act 236, an omnibus solar bill passed by the South Carolina General Assembly in 2014, opened the door for Duke Energy to offer a variety of solar programs to customers.
With more than 30 MW of solar power scheduled to come online already, Duke Energy is more than halfway to the 53 MW goal cited by the act.
"The Duke Energy Solar Rebate Program has been great for customers in South Carolina," said Bruce Wood, owner of Sunstore Solar in Greer, S.C. "Where Act 236 helped make renewable energy more accessible, the Solar Rebate Program has helped make solar more affordable."
More than 750 residential customers and more than 35 business customers have applied for solar rebates. The rebate provides $1 per watt-dc for qualified residential customers who install systems up to 20 kW on their property; and for business customers who install systems up to 1 MW on their property.
Once the program is fully subscribed, customers can continue to install solar power using tax credits through the state and federal government. Customers may also choose to use solar power on site through net metering.
Duke Energy has more than 50 solar facilities in its fleet across seven states.