North Carolina Economic Development Guide


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Page 46 of 83

Investment by technology Investments in renewable energy 2011 (millions) 2007–12 (millions) Photovoltaic Biomass Landfill gas Solar thermal Hydroelectric Geothermal Passive solar Wind TOTAL $743 111 102 36 25 18 1 1 $1,038 Less than $1 $1-2.9 $3-9.9 $10-29.9 $30 or more 2012 rank in solar energy capacity installed Clean-energy jobs, 2013 = 1,000 108,000 1. California 2. Arizona Energy consumption Commercial 22% Residential 29% 3. New Jersey 4. Nevada Industrial 22% 5. North Carolina Transportation 27% North CaroliNa SuStaiNable eNergy aSSoCiatioN Utilities Commission for permission to sell what it doesn't use to Duke Energy. In Forest City, Facebook's data center conserves energy by not using it in the frst place. Though criticized by some environmental groups for getting its energy straight from Duke Energy's power grid — about 40% of that comes from coal — the social-networking company is wringing greater effciency from its operations, including pushing limits of heat and humidity in which servers can safely operate. Facebook Manager Keven McCammon says such measures produce dramatic results. Data-center engineers measure effciency through power utilization effectiveness. "Our industry has a best practice of 1.5 PUE. That means for every watt of power delivered to a server, a half a watt is wasted. Our Forest City data center has achieved a PUE of 1.07, meaning we're 93% effcient." Google's Lenoir center is among the world's most effcient, pushing below a 1.10 rate, Terrell says. The PUE for frst-generation data centers sometimes reaches 2.9. Though data centers spotlight the push for renewable energy and resource conservation, economic recruiters say energy availability and sourcing are growing concerns for nearly all industries weighing the state's business climate. More than 60% of Fortune magazine's largest 100 companies, Terrell says, have green-energy demands in their mission statements. North Carolina's commerce secretary has taken note. "Energy is a critical and fundamental concern for any business in North Carolina, as well as those considering expanding or locating in the state," Sharon Decker says. Supplying the equipment and plants to create sustainable energy has become its own industry, with more than 2,000 Tar Heel companies involved. "Our solarpower sector is one of the nation's fastestgrowing, and there are many manufacturing companies that make up supply chains supplying components for the solar- and wind-energy industries." The state encourages growth with laws and regulations that create tax breaks of up to 35% for renewable-energy suppliers and users, and the state allows companies such as Apple to produce their own power. Bottom line: The 1,000member, Washington, D.C.-based Solar Energy Industries Association says North Carolina was the ffth-busiest state for solar installations in 2012, building more than 130 megawatts — enough to supply more than 20,000 homes. Such a shift marks a return to a time in the state's energy history when a different source of renewable energy was used. E ast of Asheville, near Old Fort, the Catawba River begins, meandering frst through mountains then foothills. In the late 1800s, the river's power potential began attracting textile and furniture manufacturers. Hydroelectric generation still accounts for about 10% of Duke Energy's power mix in North Carolina, though coal, nuclear, natural gas and oil are mainstays. A subtle and historic shift is underway, and data centers are a major reason. By the early 1900s, manufacturing industries began to outstrip the Catawba's N ort h C a r ol i N a E CoN om iC D E v E lo p m E N t Gu i D E 45

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