From 2014 to 2016, Advanced Energy worked on the Carolinas Energy Planning for the Future project with the South Carolina Energy Office, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and UNC Charlotte’s Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC). The project was launched through a State Energy Program Competitive Award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Carolinas Energy Planning for the Future was able to bring together stakeholders from North Carolina and South Carolina to discuss energy issues, facilitate a strong working relationship and prepare for future challenges and opportunities facing the two states. The end result produced a detailed report that examines North Carolina’s and South Carolina’s energy capacities, infrastructure, regulations, emerging technologies and projections.
A local government toolkit was also created consisting of resources and information on a variety of energy topics that impact specific areas of government, including transportation, internal operations, funding and financing, and community programs. Some of the highlights of this toolkit include insight into how to best prepare for renewable energy, how electric rates are set in the two states, and the effects of electric vehicles and charging stations and how they can be promoted.
There were many successes that came from this project, but the most beneficial one was strengthening our partnerships across state lines. Through our frequent project partner meetings with South Carolina and North Carolina, we were able to share updates and lessons learned and create a platform to communicate moving forward. We also held two summits where stakeholders in both states were able to connect, many for the first time. Even though the project has come to an end, we hope that these relationships will continue to grow so that the states can work together on energy topics.