North Carolina students from kindergarten through high school can submit their artwork for a chance to be featured on billboards across the state.
Show how you can help keep the air clean for Earth Day this year!
The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) has officially launched the 6th Annual “Keep Our Air Clean” Student Art Contest, where students in North Carolina from kindergarten through high school can submit their artwork for a chance to be featured on billboards across the state!
Students’ artwork should focus on actions that people can take to reduce air pollution from vehicles and help keep our air clean. Examples include walking, biking, using public transportation, carpooling, using electric vehicles or biofuels, and more. Please make artwork family-friendly, non-partisan and non-copyrighted. You can learn about the alternatives at cleantransportation.org or fuelwhatmatters.org or see examples from past winners and best practices for art submissions here.
Submissions will be accepted through Monday, April 24. Please read the rules below to find out how to submit your artwork. Public voting will begin on Wednesday, April 26 and last through Sunday, May 7 – stay tuned for a link to vote once submissions have closed!
For more information or questions please email Heather Brutz at email@example.com.
By submitting this photograph, image, graphic, or video (collectively the “work”) you hereby agree to the following:
You certify and warrant that you are the legal guardian of the minor who is submitting the artwork or are the artist and are legally an adult.
You certify and warrant that the work is your work or your child’s own original creative work and does not violate or infringe the copyright or other proprietary or intellectual property rights of others.
You retain all copyright and equivalent rights but grant permission for NC State to use, reproduce, distribute, and/or release the work to the public in any manner and in any medium without payment of any fee, and in perpetuity.
North Carolina State University reserves the right to use contestants’ names and works for educational publicity and/or promotional purposes, including website or exhibition of winning entries. You understand that the works will be shared with reporters covering these awards and for promotion of the competition itself. You hereby give North Carolina State University nonexclusive rights to use yours or your child’s name, likenesses, quotes and submissions for educational publicity and/or promotional purposes. This includes but is not limited to website display, print materials and exhibits.
You hereby agree to indemnify NC State, its trustees, officers, agents, and employees, from any and all claims, demands, and liabilities (including attorneys’ fees) incurred as a result of a final judgment or settlement or any claim or legal proceeding arising out of or resulting from a breach or claimed breach of the foregoing representations and warranties.
North Carolina students from kindergarten through high school are invited to submit their artwork for a chance to be featured on billboards across the state!
This Earth Day, you can show how you help keep the air clean!
The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) is excited to announce the 6th Annual “Keep Our Air Clean” Student Art Contest this March, where students residing in North Carolina from kindergarten through high school can submit their artwork focused on the theme of actions that individual families can take to reduce the amount of air pollution from vehicles.
Winners will have their artwork featured on billboards across the state to help spread the word about ways that we all can help keep the air clean!
Artwork should focus on actions that people can take to reduce air pollution from vehicles. Examples include walking, biking, using public transportation, carpooling, using biofuels, electric vehicles, and more. You can learn about the alternatives at cleantransportation.org or fuelwhatmatters.org. Please make artwork family-friendly, non-partisan and non-copyrighted.
Artwork in a more horizontal rectangular shape (about the shape of a billboard) is recommended.
● 400h x 840w pixels at 72 ppi
● 400h x 1400w pixels at 72 ppi
● Save as JPG, PNG or BMP at maximum quality in RGB mode
Note: Text may be added on final billboards with the “Keep Our Air Clean” tagline.
The winner will be chosen based on:
• Relevance and appropriateness of the message, judged by NCCETC and our panel of judges
• Visual design, judged by NCCETC and our panel of judges
• Public votes on our Facebook account
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Heather Brutz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Global momentum towards zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) adoption has continued to accelerate over the last year. For 2022, annual passenger electric vehicle (EV) sales were on track for around 10.6 million units, up from 3.1 million in 2020 and 6.6 million in 2021, according to a November 2022 report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Moreover, some assert that a tipping point has already been reached, with 5 percent of new U.S. car sales being EVs.
With the market share of EVs continuing to grow, there is a nationwide call to establish robust charging infrastructure and electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) needed to fuel the electrification of transportation in the United States. Utilities and fleet technology companies are still in the early stages of deployment, and charger site selection is a multi-criteria process with varying considerations for each site.
To help planners and developers select the perfect site to fit their needs, the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) at NC State University recently developed a customizable tool for prioritizing the placement of EV chargers. The EVSE Suitability GIS product is not only able to consider several variables relevant to determining charging infrastructure siting benefits, but also has a custom weighting function so developers can tailor the weight of each variable being considered to their unique situation. The GIS product was created using data for the five counties covered by Roanoke Electric Cooperative: Bertie, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, and Northampton.
NCCETC’s Alexander Yoshizumi coordinated with Roanoke Electric Cooperative (REC) while creating the EVSE Suitability GIS tool, identifying factors to include in the suitability tool in addition to the approximate weight that each factor should be given. Last month, Yoshizumi presented the results and deliverables of the project to REC staff and lent his expertise to ensure a seamless transfer of the EVSE Suitability GIS tool.
“Tools like these are going to be invaluable for selecting charging sites that are sustainable and accessible while helping meet community needs and statewide sustainability goals,” said Yoshizumi. North Carolina’s Executive Order 246 established goals to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent no later than 2030 and increase the number of registered ZEVs to at least 1.25 million by 2030.
The EVSE Suitability GIS tool enables utilities and other EVSE developers to efficiently and accurately determine site suitability with the flexibility to explore alternative weighting schemes. For the scope of NCCETC’s project, the suitability tool was applied over a 5-county region that REC serves, and several variables of interest to include were determined according to REC.
Yoshizumi explained how this tool differs from others in that it pairs customizable variable weighting with a fine scale unit of analysis, providing a much more granular understanding of where suitability is highest. For example, the Regional EV Charging Infrastructure Location Identification Toolkit uses the census tract as its unit of analysis. “Not only can census tracts vary substantially in size, but many are also of a coarse resolution,” stated Yoshizumi. The median census tract area in North Carolina is approximately 369 acres, whereas the EVSE Suitability GIS product’s unit of analysis is just 40 acres.
“Prioritizing charging sites is a complex process and, for each site, there are a variety of factors to consider and weigh for an accurate depiction of the site’s value,” noted Yoshizumi. The variables of interest were grouped into five categories: infrastructure, population and vehicle density, hazards, equity and other points of interest.
Infrastructure variables of interest included data on existing EVSE, roads and highways, proximity to interchanges, and electric grid accessibility and interconnection capabilities. The geographic distribution of EVs is not uniform, so population and vehicle density can be valuable for identifying opportunities to construct new EV charging infrastructure.
“For REC’s territory in particular, in eastern North Carolina, flooding is a key concern that could limit site access or damage installed equipment, so the tool can take this hazard into consideration, too,” Yoshizumi said.
Points-of-interest in the EVSE Suitability GIS product can indicate businesses or amenities that could be valuable to the public like nearby parks or restaurants that can occupy a driver’s time while they wait to charge. Another consideration is that certain types of points-of-interest are more likely to coincide with facilities, safety and visibility such as access to public restrooms or parking areas monitored by surveillance cameras.
As EVSE developers map out charging infrastructure and EVSE locations, they will need to maximize site selection to support an equitable and swift transition to zero-emission vehicles. “By incorporating all of these datasets into one adaptable tool, users can explore multiple scenarios with different priority weights with ease,” stated Yoshizumi.
The staff behind NCCETC’s Clean Transportation program are committed to helping diversify fuel supplies and support cleaner, more vibrant local and state economies. The end result – cleaner air and greater energy security for all.
WHAT: Join the NC Clean Energy Technology Center for a Clean Transportation Demonstration Day this April! Clean Transportation Demonstration Days support Executive Order 80, 246, & 271 and give government entities across North Carolina information and experience with clean transportation technologies. The day will consist of classroom instruction with real-world case study results, hands-on static review, networking, and a closed-course ride and drive for those who wish to participate. View the event flyer here.
WHEN & WHERE: This year, two demonstration days will be hosted, free of charge.
Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at NC Highway Patrol Training & Driving Facility 308 E Tryon Rd | Garner, NC 27529
Morning Shift 10 a.m.-1 p.m. OR Afternoon Shift 1-4p.m.
Wednesday, April 12, 2023 at Coastal Plains Raceway Park | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. or 1-4 p.m. | 4744 Richlands Hwy | Jacksonville, NC 28540
Morning Shift 10 a.m.-1 p.m. OR Afternoon Shift 1-4p.m.
WHO: Key speakers and presentations include
Heather Brutz, Director, Clean Transportation Program, NC Clean Energy Technology Center
Presentations will feature topics such as vehicle electrification, idle reduction technologies and other strategies that improve fleet sustainability.
*Note: Registration is only open to government entities and utilities.
WHY SHOULD YOU ATTEND?
Executive Order 80 calls for the State of North Carolina to protect its environment while growing clean energy technologies. Executive Order 246 updates North Carolina’s economy-wide carbon reduction emissions goals to align with climate science, reduce pollution, create good jobs and protect communities. EO 246 strengthens North Carolina’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the statewide goal to a 50% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030 and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, no later than 2050.
Classroom instruction will include alternative fuel options, telematics and other new technologies, safety, and more. There will be a diverse display of vehicles such as electric and alt-fuel vehicles, buses, police vehicles, and more.
To help minimize wait times during ride & drives, we are offering two shifts to allow more people to participate in the Demonstration Days. You may choose to attend in the morning from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or the afternoon from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Each shift will begin with 1 hour of classroom instruction and then transition into the hands-on technology static review and ride & drive.
Last year, the Clean Transportation program welcomed more than 190 attendees at a Clean Transportation Demonstration Day in late March 2022 at the NC Highway Patrol & Driving Facility. The event featured a wide range of trucks, cars and other clean transportation technologies on display. Attendees were able to test drive some of the vehicles themselves by taking a lap around the track.
“Demonstration days are always a lot of fun,” stated Heather Brutz, Director of the Clean Transportation Program at the NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC). “They are a great opportunity for government employees to gain hands-on experience and learn more about the benefits of alternative fuel vehicles.”
One of the most popular vehicles at the 2022 event was a large, all-electric Mack truck designed to collect trash and manufactured right here in North Carolina. Electric vehicles (EV) such as the Mack truck not only significantly reduce a fleet’s carbon footprint with reduced emissions, but also enables quiet operation with a near-silent powertrain.
Other alternative-fuel vehicles on display included the Cary Police Department’s Tesla Model 3, Zero Motorcycles, Thomas Built Buses Jouley Saf-T-Liner C2 electric school bus, the City of Durham’s bucket truck with a plug-in electric power take-off (PTO) solution by Viatec and Battery Idle Reduction Firetruck, a Jeep Wrangler Hybrid, Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid EV, a ZeroRPM Idle Reduction Ambulance, Ingevity Adsorbed Natural Gas Vehicle, a Volvo XC40 and C40 EV, Lightning Motors Paratransit Shuttle, ebikes, XL Fleet’s XLHybrid truck, GFL Environmental Inc.’s compressed natural gas (CNG) Refuse Hauler & Service Truck, and more.
The Matthews Police Department showed off several EV motorcycles. In an interview with WRAL News, Captain Stason Terrell said, “It’s an opportunity for us not only to be more in the community, be more visible, but also have that conversation about the environmental side of things and how it’s a cleaner fuel vehicle.”
In addition to the vehicles on display, clean transportation technologies such as a 100% electric street vacuum cleaner from Glutton® Collect® and Progress Solar’s Mobile Solar Light Tower solution displayed the versatility of clean energy applications for all.
PARTNER WITH THE NC CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGY CENTER
Register to exhibit at a 2023 Clean Transportation Demonstration Day and get the opportunity to show off your vehicle/equipment to hundreds of North Carolina state and local government personnel and NC Utilities involved in vehicle procurement. Maximize exposure by exhibiting at both events on April 11 & 12.
Sponsorship opportunities are also available! Sponsorship includes the opportunity to display vehicle/equipment as a static display and/or as part of the Ride & Drive. Additionally, you have the opportunity to present product information and testimonials/case studies to attendees during the classroom/conference portion of the event (5-10 minute presentation). Then spend the rest of the day at displays and on the track! Learn more about 2023 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference sponsor and exhibitor opportunities here.
The report finds that, for the second year in a row, all 50 states and DC and Puerto Rico took actions related to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure during 2022 (see figure below). The greatest number of actions related to rebate and grant programs, rate design, charging station deployment, and targets for state procurement of electric or zero-emission vehicles.
2022 State and Utility Action on Electric Vehicles
The report highlights ten of the top electric vehicle trends of 2022:
States planning for the distribution of National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program funding;
Focusing on incentives over utility infrastructure deployment;
Pursuing electric vehicle charging solutions at multi-unit dwellings;
Utilities designing managed charging programs;
Establishing statewide targets for zero-emission vehicle sales or adoption;
Utilities exploring vehicle-to-grid capabilities through pilots;
Policymakers addressing siting issues and HOA restrictions;
Dedicating funding to transportation electrification for low-income customers; and
Advancing deployment of electric school and transit buses.
“States filed plans with the federal government for their use of National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure, or NEVI, funding in September. The NEVI program was created by the bipartisan infrastructure law in 2021,” noted Rebekah de la Mora, Policy Analyst at NCCETC. “Funds will first go towards building out designated interstate alternative fuel corridors. The timeline between each state varies; some won’t have definitive plans for a few more years, while others are preparing to release RFPs in the near future.”
A total of 790 electric vehicle actions were taken during 2022. The report notes the top ten states taking the greatest number or most impactful actions in 2022 were California, Massachusetts, New York, Washington, North Carolina, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Arizona, and Colorado.
“Building off the NEVI plans they filed this year, states policymakers ratcheted up their EV policy activity in 2022,” observed Brian Lips, Senior Policy Project Manager at NCCETC. “In addition to very EV-specific activities, like new managed charging programs and incentives for charging equipment, a number of states also took steps to harmonize their EV planning activities with other utility planning activities.”
In Q4 2022, 38 states plus DC and Puerto Rico took some type of action on electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. A total of 361 actions were tracked in Q4.
The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center, as part of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University, advances a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices and policies. It serves as a resource for innovative, sustainable energy technologies through technology demonstration, technical assistance, outreach and training. For more information about the Center, visit: http://www.nccleantech.ncsu.edu. Twitter: @NCCleanTech
Media Contact: Shannon Helm, NCCETC, email@example.com
Originally established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the NEVI program provides nearly $5 billion from July 2022-June 2027 to help states create a network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations along designated alternative fuel corridors. North Carolina expects to receive up to $109 million to build out electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure along its approved corridors.
The Federal Highway Administration’s Alternative Fuel Corridors program recognizes highway segments that have infrastructure (or plans for infrastructure) that support alternative fuel options, including electricity, compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas and hydrogen. See the accompanying map for North Carolina’s current alternative fuel corridors.
In September of 2022, the Federal Highway Administration approved North Carolina’s NEVI Program plan, along with those from all other states and territories. Now that the plans are approved, states are moving forward with implementation as described in the “NEVI NEVI Land” blog on DSIREinsight.
WHAT IS NORTH CAROLINA’S PLAN?
The NCDOT developed the statewide Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Deployment Plan using guidance provided by the NEVI program, and will support the development of the state’s public electric vehicle charging network. In short, NC’s NEVI plan is in two phases, the first being completion of the priority corridors having DCFast chargers every 50 miles, the second phase being an intentional effort to include local communities to plan where their DCFast chargers should be located.
Now, NCDOT is taking industry stakeholder input to assist in the development of the NEVI program. Feedback from the roundtables held during NCDOT’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure North Carolina Tour will be used to develop a request for information (RFI) to be released in February and will ultimately help inform the creation of a future request for proposal (RFP) from the NCDOT that will be used to implement the program.
Each roundtable is about 90 minutes long and will host utilities, electric vehicle equipment suppliers, site hosts and more. Registration is required for these roundtables and representatives can register online.
The public is invited to attend open house sessions following the roundtables. Registration is not required for the open house sessions.
Previously, on January 11th, the NCDOT held an information webinar session about the state’s NEVI Program deployment plan. A video recording of the session is now available for viewing.
The series focuses on sharing real-world use cases and success stories of sustainable fleet operations and strategies. Each webinar session featured in-depth presentations from nationally recognized fleets describing their experience with integrating applications of sustainable fleet technologies and strategies into their fleet as well as the lessons they learned along the way.
“The webinar series showcases the gold standard of fleet sustainability to help others see how clean transportation technologies and practices can fit into their own fleets,” said Heather Brutz, Director of the NCCETC Clean Transportation Program.
Driving Fleet Sustainability and Efficiency
Fleet management is dynamic with constant change, so integration of new strategies and technologies is imperative to stay competitive and meet growing demands of customers. The key to successful deployment of these new strategies and technologies is change management and fostering buy-in on all levels of an organization.
The webinar Creating a Culture for Change & Gaining Buy-In explains the basics of change management and features speakers from top fleets that have created a culture that embraces technology, change and continuous improvement. Panelists included Patti Early, Fleet Fuel Operations Manager at Florida Power & Light; Erin Osterroth, Fleet Services Manager for the City of Medicine Hat in Alberta, Canada; Mark Swackhamer, formerly Director of Transportation for Alvin Independent School District in Texas; and Al Curtis, Fleet Services Director for Cobb County, Georgia.
According to Patti Earley, the objective of change management is not to eliminate resistance to change, but to minimize the impact on achieving the desired goal. “Change management is a structured, planned process at both the individual and organizational levels,” Earley explained.
Among the fastest growing and most promising developments in fleet management is video telematics. Cameras coupled with other sensors and technologies give fleets the potential to achieve improved safety, driver performance and efficiency. This emerging technology and results from real-world fleet applications were explored in Video Telematics Applications & Benefits.
Rick Sapienza of NCCETC and NAFA’s Chief Executive Officer Bill Schankel joined three of the top five Green Fleets to share their best practices for successful fleet sustainability. “In terms of sustainability, my advice is just to get started,” said Sapienza. “And in terms of applying for the awards, it’s a good exercise- you will certainly learn something new.”
NCCETC is a proud sponsor of the Green Fleet Awards, now in its 15th year of recognizing peak-performing fleet sustainability efforts. The Green Fleet Awards is free to enter and is open to both government and commercial fleets in North America.
Avoiding Potholes On the Road to Fleet Electrification
Public and private fleets across the United States are taking steps to transition away from conventional fuel vehicles, but electrification is a complex and multi-aspect process for fleets with thousands of vehicles or diverse needs. The 2022 SFTWS had several sessions focused on integrating electric vehicle (EV) deployment into long-term fleet planning along with funding opportunities to finance these efforts.
A fleet right-sizing analysis helps identify when vehicles need to be replaced and how to get the maximum value out of their current assets before replacing them. NCCETC’s Clean Transportation staff is able to provide fleet utilization analyses to help fleets understand utilization across their fleet as a first step in fleet right-sizing.
Several EV deployment cases from fleets leading the way in electrification were presented in Avoiding the Potholes in the Road to Fleet Electrification. Philip Saunders from the City of Seattle spoke of the lessons learned from the city’s transition to EVs so far and their plans for the future. Saunders was joined by Robert Gordon, Deputy Director of Fleet Management at Dekalb County, Georgia. Dekalb’s fleet has over 3600 vehicles – 437 of which are alternative fuel vehicles, according to Gordon.
Another key component of fleet electrification is the charging infrastructure and electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) needed to keep EVs running and in service. The Charging Strategies & EVSE Readiness Planning webinar provides an overview of the critical planning required for properly meeting charging needs today, as well as planning for future additions of EVs.
Anne Blair, Policy Director at the Electrification Coalition, shared some of the resources and reflections from the organization’s work on charging deployment throughout the country. Blair discussed challenges and barriers fleets face when electrifying before highlighting how leading fleets have created opportunities to address these obstacles and find solutions.
One example of what worked came from San Antonio where Blink and the city formed a partnership to help alleviate some of the cost hurdles to installing charging stations. “They deployed more than 200 Level 2 charging stations, and 3 DC Fast charging stations throughout the city,” Blair noted. She said that these examples speak to how these partnerships mitigate the high cost of deploying charging infrastructure while also meeting the needs of the communities these chargers are installed in.
To view all of the past webinars and sessions from NCCETC’s Clean Transportation program, Sustainable Fleet Technology Webinar Series, as well as the Sustainable Fleet Technology Virtual Conference series and more, click here.
The NC Clean Energy Technology Center, NAFA Fleet Management Association and The 100 Best Fleets are proud to offer sponsorship opportunities for the online Sustainable Fleet Technology Webinar Series 2023. Note that there are a limited number of sponsorship opportunities for the SFT Webinar Series.
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or learning more about partnership opportunities, please contact Heather Brutz at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
2022 was another busy year at the NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) as our staff worked with partners in government, industry, academia and other community members to promote and advance the development and use of clean energy in ways that stimulate a sustainable economy while reducing dependence on foreign sources of energy, and mitigating the environmental impacts of fossil fuel use.
Read our synopsis of program and project highlights from NCCETC’s 2022 to catch up.
In January 2022, six students completed a 40-hour Fundamentals of Solar Photovoltaic Design and Installation (FSPV) training course customized by the NCCETC for the Centre for Homeownership and Economic Development. The in-person course covered the fundamentals of the design and installation of a solar photovoltaic system and included a hands-on day where participants installed a grid-tied photovoltaic system. NCCETC also hosted a custom Solar & Clean Energy Fundamentals Workshop for the South Carolina Energy Office Online Program in May 2022. The course was based on the Center’s Certificate for Renewable Energy Management program and, in total, 62 attendees completed the custom course. Learn more about customized training offered by the NCCETC here.
NCCETC staff are working with the NC Department of Commerce and other organizations to find ways to advance offshore wind energy projects in the state, with a focus on economic development and job creation. NCCETC is currently serving as a member for the new North Carolina Taskforce for Offshore Wind Economic Resource Strategies, or NC TOWERS, which was established by Executive Order 218 to affirm North Carolina’s commitment to offshore wind power as the state transitions to a clean energy economy. The Taskforce will provide expert advice to Governor Cooper and state policymakers for developing the state’s offshore wind supply chain, workforce, and infrastructure. NC TOWERS met for its inaugural session on February 3, 2022.
The second ESS webinar brought together NCCETC staff and stakeholders to highlight innovations in managed charging and recent electric vehicle policy trends in the United States in a session titled 50 States of Electric Vehicles and Innovations in Managed Charging. NCCETC’s Senior Clean Transportation Specialist Lisa Poger moderated the panel discussion with Brian Lips of NCCETC, Elaine Jordan of Duke Energy and Jacqueline Piero of The Mobility House.
On April 26 and 27 of last year, over 700 clean energy professionals joined the NCCETC for the 2022 State Energy Conference of North Carolina, which returned in-person in Raleigh, NC for the first time since 2019. Attendees were able to be a part of the clean energy discussion over two days of live sessions where they listened to and connected with industry leaders while sharing their own ideas about North Carolina energy’s present and future.
During the second day of the conference, attendees came together to recognize new and existing SolSmart Communities across North and South Carolina who have worked to make it faster, easier and more affordable to go solar in their jurisdictions. The NCCETC served as SolSmart advisors to provide technical assistance to communities in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida to help them receive a national SolSmart designation of Gold, Silver or Bronze based on actions across permitting and inspection, planning and zoning, government operations, community management and market development. There are now 19 communities across South Carolina and North Carolina that have achieved SolSmart designation.
At the end of August, the NCCETC welcomed more than 350 registered attendees in Durham, NC for the 2022 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo. The conference showcased the latest and greatest technologies in the biofuels, electric, natural gas and propane arenas – including everything from Progress Solar’s latest mobile solar electric vehicle (EV) charging model to the diverse display of alternative fuel vehicles and other clean transportation technologies.
Near the end of 2022, the NCCETC announced that it was selected to receive a $1 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) to enable communities to use solar and solar-plus-storage to enhance resilience and prevent disruptions in power caused by extreme weather and other events. This project, titled Resilient Renewable Energy to Diminish Disaster Impacts on Communities (Resilient REDDI Communities), will develop a novel set of resiliency metrics and create a playbook to guide emergency managers and their communities to assess and implement enhanced energy resilience strategies to mitigate the effects of energy loss during a disaster.
To conclude the year, we took a look back on 35 highlights from over the years to kick-off the celebration of NCCETC’s 35th anniversary. For the last 35 years, the Center has worked closely with partners in government, industry, academia, and the non-profit community while evolving to include a greater geographic scope and array of clean energy technologies. As a result of this evolution, the Center has grown into a state agency respected for its assistance to the burgeoning “clean tech” sector in North Carolina, as well as one of the premier clean energy centers of knowledge in the United States.
Thank you for helping us make 2022 a great year!
For a look at our most recent fiscal year accomplishments, review our 2021-2022 Annual Report, which covers NCCETC’s major projects from the last fiscal year along with operating budget statistics and highlights.
To keep in touch monthly with the latest news from the Center and our programs, consider signing up for our newsletters! Sign up online.
This end of year review summarizes a few of the project and program highlights that made 2022 a successful year at NCCETC! We are looking forward to continuing even more important and exciting work in 2023.
The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC), at N.C. State University, advances a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating, and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices, and policies. For the last 35 years, the Center has worked closely with partners in government, industry, academia, and the non-profit community while evolving to include a greater geographic scope and array of clean energy technologies. As a result of this evolution, the Center has grown into a state agency respected for its assistance to the burgeoning “clean tech” sector in North Carolina, as well as one of the premier clean energy centers of knowledge in the United States.
Please join us in celebrating the Center’s 35th Anniversary in 2023 as we take a look back on 35 highlights from over the years.
1. The N.C. Solar House was built in 1981 and designed to incorporate readily available solar and energy-efficient technologies to serve three primary purposes: (1) to demonstrate how solar and energy-efficient technologies can be effectively incorporated into a solar house of traditional design typical of the region; (2) to serve as an educational resource and laboratory for students, clubs, professional organizations and the general public; and (3) to serve as a research laboratory for graduate students in engineering, architecture, interior design and other related disciplines.
2. The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center, or “Center”, was first established in December 1987 as the North Carolina Solar Center. The state government of North Carolina, N.C. State University, and the solar industry came together to launch the Solar Center with sponsorship from the State Energy Office to meet the need for a central clearinghouse that could assist the state’s citizens, businesses and institutions in using solar energy. Since its formation, the Center has concentrated a large portion of its resources to train professionals and to provide educational opportunities for decision-makers and the public to learn about solar energy.
3. The Solar Communities Program was created in 1989 to extend Center services and programs into selected communities across the state. In each “Solar Community,” the Center teamed with the county office on the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service to a staff a steering committee of local leaders and energy professionals.
4. In 1991, the Solar Communities Program was awarded the National Environment Achievement Award by Renew America.
5. With assistance from the national Photovoltaics for Utilities Program, the Center convened the N.C. Photovoltaics for Utilities Working Group in 1992, a collaborative of utilities, regulators, educators, industry and environmental groups working together to accelerate utility utilization and acceptance of this rapidly emerging technology.
6. The Solar Center entered the international arena in 1995, providing internet training and technical assistance to the International Solar Energy Society at its bi-annual conference in Zimbabwe.
7. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University and was originally funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Energy.
8. The Center received funding from the Rotary Club in 1997 for the Solar Center PV Program in Bolivia. The Center installed photovoltaic systems on 15 rural schools in the Alalay region in the Andes Mountains.
9. In 1999, under the leadership of the State Energy Office and the North Carolina Solar Center, North Carolina made a commitment to promote solar energy in North Carolina by becoming a Million Solar Roofs Initiative Partnership. It was 1 of 94 Partnerships across the country collectively working to encourage more solar energy systems in our communities by 2010.
10. In 2003, the Center became home to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Southeast Clean Energy Application Center. Today the Center manages the DOE Southeast Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnership (CHP TAP), promoting the market for CHP, waste heat recovery, district energy and microgrids.
11. The Center became the only training provider in North Carolina to have been awarded as an Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) Institute of Power Quality (ISPQ) Accredited Training Program Provider in 2004. After an intensive 18-month process including an extensive site assessment, the Center’s thermal and PV courses were awarded as IREC ISPQ Training Programs– the highest international accreditation standard for renewable energy training programs.
12. The N.C. HealthyBuilt Homes Program (HBH), a statewide green-building program launched in March 2004, was a collaboration of the Center in Raleigh, the state energy office, North Carolina Department of Administration, NC HealthyBuilt Homes community partners and local professional building organizations. The program supported small and medium-size homebuilders with technical and marketing assistance, design reviews, workshops, presentations and field-consultation services that teach green-building practices.
13. The Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) Project provides funding for clean transportation technologies in eligible counties in North Carolina. The CFAT Project is funded through the Congestion, Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds from FHWA and NCDOT. From 2006 through 2019 we have provided $11.9 million in federal funds to help private and public fleets in North Carolina purchase clean transportation technologies to improve North Carolina’s air quality.
14. The Center managed the NC Biomass Council, which produced The North Carolina Biomass Roadmap: Recommendations for Fossil Fuel Displacement through Biomass Utilization report in 2007 to increase biomass utilization and the production of in-state biofuels, biopower and bioproducts.
15. The Center participated in an offshore wind feasibility study managed by the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the State Energy Office. The Center’s portion of the project focused on offshore wind outreach in North Carolina, as well as efforts to raise the profile of North Carolina to the wind energy industry in the United States and Europe. The study and subsequent report was submitted to the North Carolina General Assembly in June 2009.
16. In 2014, the Center developed a new internship program which allows us to better serve undergraduate and graduate students at N.C. State University and beyond.
17. During the last month of 2014, the N.C. Solar Center officially changed its name to the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC).
18. The State Energy Conference of North Carolina is an annual conference hosted by NCCETC and N.C. State University’s McKimmon Center. Over the last six years, NCCETC has grown the State Energy Conference from around 400 to over 900 attendees from a variety of backgrounds, including state and local government, non-profits, startups, academia and corporate organizations – all joined under the SEC’s theme: “Connecting North Carolina’s Diverse Energy Economy.”
19. In 2017 the first annual Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo was held to expand education, training, and networking on advanced clean transportation technologies. The event has been hosted every year since (even going virtual for two years during the pandemic), reaching audiences from across the Southeast totaling more than 4,000.
20. The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center publishes three quarterly reports that provide a comprehensive review of policy changes under consideration related to three technology areas: (1) The 50 States of Solar, (2) The 50 States of Grid Modernization and (3) The 50 States of Electric Vehicles. The 50 States report series is intended to keep industry stakeholders informed of policy and regulatory changes in the clean energy sector with timely, comprehensive, and unbiased updates. Reports provide a complete review of quarterly actions, summarized by our team of state policy experts, along with links to primary sources, summary graphics, and analysis.
21. The Energy Policy & Markets team from NCCETC launched DSIRE Insight in December 2018. DSIRE Insight offers clean energy professionals in-depth quarterly policy reports, as well as biweekly legislative and regulatory tracking services with comprehensive insight into the rapidly changing energy policy landscape.
22. The NCCETC received a grant award from the Solar Energy Technologies Office of the U.S. Department of Energy in 2016. This project, named Community Solar for the Southeast, was created to provide resources and to support the development of community solar programs at electric cooperatives and municipal utilities across the southeastern United States. Over four years, NCCETC worked with a number of coops and munis to understand the challenges of developing community solar programs and develop resources that can aid in the development of community solar projects across the region. The project concluded in 2020.
23. The NCCETC and the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) managed the development of a Template Solar Ordinance which was published in 2016. This template ordinance provides consensus input on a best practice model for how solar development can be regulated and facilitates the adoption of local regulation backed by industry, government and citizen input.
24. The U.S. DOE announced the selection of a team led by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at North Carolina State University as one of eight new regional Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnerships (CHP TAPs) in November 2017. The Southeast CHP TAP at NCCETC promotes and assists in transforming the market for CHP, waste heat to power and district energy technologies/concepts in the following eight southeast states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
25. The NCCETC was a part of the Powering Energy Efficiency and Impacts Framework (PEEIF) project, a two-year U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sponsored initiative, seeks to develop a data-driven framework to increase energy-related program effectiveness in low-income households. The project’s final report was published in March 2019.
26. In 2019, Fayetteville Public Works Commission opened the first municipal community solar farm in North Carolina. NCCETC provided a technical and economic analysis for the community 1.5 MW solar photovoltaic array, including a 560 kW battery, to help the municipal utility consider the viability, costs and value of the renewable energy in an effort to meet renewable energy requirements and promote customer participation in solar.
27. NCCETC introduced its Energy and Sustainability Services (ESS) – a suite of services from the Center aimed at optimizing sustainability and energy-related objectives for business, industry, government and utilities – before hosting the first installation of the ESS Webinar Series in December 2020.
30. At the end of 2020, NCCETC partnered with Roanoke Electric Cooperative to demonstrate cutting edge vehicle-to-grid technology. For two years the Cooperative worked with Fermata Energy to pilot the first electric vehicle charging system that meets the North American standard for two-way current as verified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Preliminary findings from this demonstration showed the economic potential of using bidirectional charging technologies to feed energy stored in electric vehicle batteries back to the grid or a building, especially when the grid is experiencing high demand. Now after two years, the value streams are clear.
31. As part of Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order (EO) 80, the North Carolina Department of Commerce commissioned a report, which was researched and produced by BVG Associates and a team of experts from Lloyds Register Energy Americas, Timmons Group and NCCETC. The full report, Building North Carolina’s Offshore Wind Supply Chain, was released in 2021 and is available online at nccommerce.com.
32. NCCETC announced the addition of incentive programs for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure to DSIRE in August of 2021. DSIRE now includes over 250 incentive programs for the purchase of electric vehicles and associated charging infrastructure.
33. The two-year project “Planning an Affordable, Resilient, and Sustainable Grid in North Carolina” (PARSG), concluded in 2022. The project began in 2019 after North Carolina received a competitive award of $300,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy. PARSG is a joint project by the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), UNC Charlotte’s Energy Production Infrastructure Center (EPIC), and NCCETC. The project included opportunities for interested stakeholders to review metrics developed by the research team and provide input into an advanced grid scenario focused on enabling a more decentralized resilient grid, including micro/mini grids that can support critical services, such as hospitals, in the case of power outages. As part of PARSG, NCCETC partnered with New Hanover County to conduct resiliency analyses of local facilities and provide potential solutions which could ensure a reduction in the cumulative hours customers are without power after an outage.
34. Staff from the NCCETC served as SolSmart advisors to provide technical assistance to communities in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida to help them receive a national SolSmart designation of Gold, Silver or Bronze based on actions across permitting and inspection, planning and zoning, government operations, community management and market development. The designation recognizes communities that have taken bold steps to encourage solar energy growth and remove obstacles to solar development. There are 19 communities in the Carolinas – 3 in South Carolina and 16 in North Carolina – that have achieved SolSmart designation as of April 2022.
35. In October 2022, NCCETC concluded two projects focused on community solar access and achieving resilience benefits for low and moderate-income communities. The projects – Community Solar Access for Low and Moderate-Income Utility Customers, and Achieving Resilience Benefits Through Utility Solar + Storage Deployment in Low-Income Communities – were funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
Last month, before the NC State University vs. Wake Forest University football game at Carter Finley Stadium, the NC Clean Energy Technology Center’s Clean Transportation team invited fans to explore a lineup of electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles before kickoff.
The Clean Transportation program at the NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) propels the development, awareness and use of alternative fuels and advanced transportation technologies. Our clean transportation program’s outreach and education initiatives include workshops, meetings, conferences and communication campaigns highlighting the benefits of using clean transportation technologies- from alternative fuel to sustainable fleet management.
There were 18 vehicles on display supplied by local dealerships, state agencies and electric vehicle owners and enthusiasts, including several Tesla models, VolksWagen, BMW, Chevrolet, Volvo and more.
The City of Charlotte showed off their all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck and drew fans in with one of the Lightning’s most useful features– the Mega Power Frunk, a front trunk found where a normal internal combustion engine would live. The frunk has four electrical outlets, two USB chargers and 2.4 kilowatts of power were added to power wired tools, speakers and more.
The City of Charlotte showed off their all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck and drew fans in with one of the Lightning’s most useful features– the Mega Power Frunk, a front trunk found where a normal internal combustion engine would live. The frunk has four electrical outlets, two USB chargers and 2.4 kilowatts of power were added to power wired tools, speakers and more.