Assisted NC businesses in winning 3,589 contracts minimum value of $14.5 billion

North Carolina’s Current Energy Environment

North Carolina’s energy mix includes nuclear energy (32 percent), natural gas (30 percent), coal (26 percent) and renewables (10 percent) based on 2017 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In the future, coal will decline as a percentage of North Carolina’s total energy mix and renewables and natural gas will increase. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline will carry natural gas through eight eastern North Carolina counties when it is completed in 2020.

North Carolina’s energy mix is influenced by actions at the federal and state levels. President Trump has reversed several energy policies of his predecessor. For example, the U.S. has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement and President Trump eliminated the Clean Power Plan, which set limits on carbon pollution from power plants. While these policies have dampened federal attention on climate change, military bases are now spending much more time on climate-related impacts. Indeed, North Carolina’s Marine Corps Base Camp LeJeune is on the list of most vulnerable military bases from climate change because of rising seas and tidal flooding.

North Carolina has a highly-regulated, monopoly-controlled electricity market where investor-owned utilities (IOUs) make most of the decisions about where our power comes from. North Carolina does not have a free market where energy technologies can enter and compete on price and quality. Third parties then cannot sell energy in North Carolina directly to businesses and consumers unless it is within a small window of opportunity made available in the energy statutes.  North Carolina’s military installations operate within this statewide environment and focus their energy initiatives in accordance with the state regulatory environment.  Any energy projects – including renewable energy projects – are coordinated with the military to ensure they do not conflict or interfere with the military mission.  Sustaining our military installations is North Carolina’s primary goal. 

Against this backdrop, North Carolina has passed two critical pieces of energy legislation in the past decade that frame its regulatory climate:

  • The 2007 Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard or SB 3, the first portfolio standard in the Southeast to require utilities to purchase renewable energy sources; and
  • The 2018 Competitive Energy Solutions for North Carolina or HB 589, which updated and expanded North Carolina’s energy landscape. HB 589 has provisions for solar leasing, a solar rebate program, a community solar program, and the creation of a program for large businesses, universities, and the military to directly procure renewable energy. Finally, HB 589 requires Duke Energy to procure 2,660 MW of renewable energy over a 45-month window.

Through North Carolina’s commitment to creating a cleaner energy future, North Carolina’s clean energy industry now includes 1,171 clean energy firms and 43,238 clean energy jobs.  In addition, North Carolina has $14.2 billion in annual revenue, an increase of 124 percent from 2016-2018. The majority of those renewable energy investments were made in the state’s most economically distressed counties in the rural parts of North Carolina. 

Finally, in addition to these two landmark state energy laws, in October 2018, Governor Cooper signed Executive Order 80, which outlined North Carolina’s commitment to address climate change and transition to a clean energy economy. The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality will develop a clean energy plan in October 2019 and the N.C. Department of Transportation must increase the number of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) to at least 80,000 by 2025.

There are several other important facts in North Carolina’s energy landscape:

  • North Carolina ranked second in 2018, after California, in the total amount of installed solar power on the grid, primarily with utility scale solar facilities
  • North Carolina has the Southeast’s largest wind facility, which has 104 tall high tech wind turbines in the northeastern corner of the state; and,
  • Several North Carolina municipalities and counties have announced 100 percent renewable energy goals such as Asheville, Charlotte, and Wake County.

North Carolina’s prominence as a solar state includes national caliber solar developers and a varied supply chain including module and array manufacturers.  The state is also home to a smart grid sector with over 1,000 jobs, micro-grid demonstration, advanced training programs, and highly regarded product manufacturing and research entities.  North Carolina has a prominent building efficiency sector with over 11,000 jobs, many LEED certified buildings, and strong growth potential.

NCMBC Key Information

  • NCMBC-assisted firms won 3,506 contracts – minimum value at $14.24 billion – from the NCMBC’s opening in 2005 through August 2020
  • FY2019: Federal agencies awarded $7.1 billion in prime contracts to companies in 98 of 100 North Carolina counties
  • FY2019: Department of Defense awarded $4.6 billion in prime contracts to companies in 80 of 100 North Carolina counties
  • NCMBC’s return on State investment: 33:1







North Carolina Military Business Center
PO Box 1748
Fayetteville, NC 28303

The NC Military Business Center, the NC Community College System, and the State of North Carolina do not officially endorse events. These items are posted strictly for the information and convenience of NCMBC customers.

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