Progress Energy to pay business customers to go solar

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Raleigh-based Progress (NYSE: PGN) said the goal of its new SunSense

program is to increase the amount of solar energy produced in its

Carolinas and Florida territories by more than 100 megawatts over the

next decade.

The company intends to reach that goal by offering a series of incentives and rebates.

• Progress will pay commercial customers the going market rate for

each killowat-hour of electricity produced by newly installed solar

power systems. This program will debut in the Carolinas this summer and

in Florida next year.

• Also starting this summer is a program that will provide

incentives for Progress’ business customers to install solar water

heaters. That program will not be available in Florida.

• For residential customers, Progress Energy will pay $1.50 to $2

per watt for residential solar installations. That should cover about

25 percent of the installation cost, Progress said. The program will

debut late this summer in the Carolinas and next year in Florida.

• Also for residential customers, Progress will offer rebates to

customers who install solar water heating systems. The program, already

established in Florida, is being rolled out the in Carolinas.

A fifth arm of the Progress plan will see the company’s Progress

Energy Carolinas and Progress Energy Florida subsidiaries install solar

panels at selected schools in their territories.

With a market capitalization of almost $10 billion, Progress Energy

is the most valuable company in the Raleigh-Durham area and the only

one in the federally defined Triangle area to rank among the Fortune

500. Raleigh-based Progress Energy Carolinas supplies electricity to

much of the Triangle area.

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