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The U.S. Department of Energy and the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center are excited to announce that a new, modernized DSIRE is under construction. The new version of DSIRE will offer significant improvements over the current version, including expanded data accessibility and an array of new tools for site users. The new DSIRE site will be available in December 2014. Staff are currently working hard on the new version of DSIRE but are also maintaining the content of the current version of DSIRE. Thank you for your continued support and patience during this transition. We hope you are as excited for December as we are!

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North Carolina

Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

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Renewable Energy Tax Credit (Corporate)   

Last DSIRE Review: 09/11/2014
Program Overview:
State: North Carolina
Incentive Type: Corporate Tax Credit
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Passive Solar Space Heat, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Thermal Process Heat, Photovoltaics, Landfill Gas, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Geothermal Heat Pumps, CHP/Cogeneration, Spent pulping liquor, Solar Pool Heating, Daylighting, Anaerobic Digestion, Small Hydroelectric, Ethanol, Methanol, Biodiesel, Geothermal Direct-Use
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Agricultural
Maximum Incentive:$2.5 million per installation*
Eligible System Size:No stated size limits for systems. Maximum of 50 kWh battery storage capacity per kW of hydro generator capacity (DC rated); maximum of 35 kWh battery storage capacity per kW for other technologies
Equipment Requirements:System must be new and in compliance with all applicable performance and safety standards. Specific equipment and installation requirements vary by technology.
Carryover Provisions:Credit must be taken in five equal installments; allowable credit may not exceed 50% of a taxpayer's state tax liability for the year, reduced by the sum of all other state tax credits.
Expiration Date:12/31/2015
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
Expiration Date:
N.C. Gen. Stat. ยง 105-129.15 et seq.
1977 (subsequently amended)
Authority 2:
NC Tax Credit Guidelines

North Carolina offers a tax credit equal to 35% of the cost of eligible renewable energy property constructed, purchased or leased by a taxpayer and placed into service in North Carolina during the taxable year. The credit has been amended several times since its original inception. House Bill 512 of 2009 extended the eligibility to geothermal equipment, extended the expiration date to December 31, 2015, and allowed the credit to be taken against the Gross Premiums Tax. HB 1829 of 2010 further extended this credit to combined heat and power systems. The credit is subject to various ceilings depending on sector and the type of renewable-energy system. The following credit limits for various technologies and sectors apply:

  • A maximum of $3,500 per dwelling unit for active solar space heating, combined active solar space and domestic water-heating systems, and passive solar space heating used for a non-business purpose;
  • A maximum of $1,400 per installation for solar water-heating systems, including solar pool-heating systems used for a non-business purpose;
  • A maximum of $8,400 for geothermal heat pumps and geothermal equipment that uses geothermal energy for water heating or active space heating or cooling used for a non-business purpose;
  • A maximum of $10,500 per installation for photovoltaic systems (also known as PV systems or solar-electric systems), wind-energy systems, combined heat and power systems, or certain other renewable-energy systems used for a non-business purpose
  • A maximum of $2.5 million* per installation for all solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, combined heat and power (as defined by Section 48 of the U.S. Tax Code), and biomass applications** used for a business purpose***, including PV, daylighting, solar water-heating and space-heating technologies.

Renewable-energy equipment expenditures eligible for the tax credit include the cost of the equipment and associated design; construction costs; and installation costs less any discounts, rebates, advertising, installation-assistance credits, name-referral allowances or other similar reductions provided by public funds. SB 388 of 2010 clarified that federal grants made available by Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 do not constitute public funds.

The allowable credit may not exceed 50% of a taxpayer's state tax liability for the year, reduced by the sum of all other state tax credits. Qualifying renewable-energy systems used for a non-business purpose must take the maximum credit amount allowable for the tax year in which the system is installed. If the credit is not used entirely during the first year, the remaining amount may be carried over for the next five years.

For all other taxpayers, the credit is taken in five equal installments beginning with the year in which the property is placed in service. If the credit is not used entirely during these five years, the remaining amount may be carried over for the next five years. The credit can be taken against franchise tax, corporate tax, income tax, or in the case of insurance companies, against the gross premiums tax.

SB 3 of 2007 amended North Carolina's renewable energy tax credit statute to allow a taxpayer who donates money to a tax-exempt nonprofit to help fund a renewable energy project to claim a tax credit. The donor may claim a share of the credit -- proportional to the project costs donated -- that the nonprofit could claim if the organization were subject to tax. HB 2436 of 2008 applied this same mechanism to donations made to units of state and local governments.

Click the links below to access the relevant 2013 tax forms and instructions from the N.C. Department of Revenue.

* House Bill 1973 of 2010 specified that systems installed for business purposes at a site that has been certified as an eco-industrial park by the Secretary of Commerce are subject to a higher tax credit cap of $5 million. Section 5.1 of the bill describes the characteristics required to be deemed an eco-industrial park.

** The N.C. Tax Credit Guidelines and relevant North Carolina statutes provide a description of the types of biomass and biomass applications that are eligible for the tax credit. (See links above.) Note that residential wood burning stoves do not qualify for this tax credit. 

***HB 1829 of 2010 states "renewable energy property is placed in service for a business purpose if the useful energy generated by the property is offered for sale or is used on-site for a purpose other than providing energy to a residence."

  Public Information
Department of Revenue
Post Office Box 25000
Raleigh, NC 27640-0640
Phone: (877) 252-3052
Phone 2: (877) 308-9103
Web Site:
NCSU - home
Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.