A North Carolina solar energy company with offices in Greenville has ridden a green wave to a national honor for jobs creation by going from 30 employees to just less than 90 in a year.
Most of that phenomenal jobs growth has been concentrated in North Carolina where state incentives for green or solar generated, electricity are far higher, said David Odell business development manager for Southern Energy Management’s Greenville office.
Southern’s co-founder, Maria Kingery, said the Green Jobs Award presented by SJF Institute and Green For All, is a great honor, but creating jobs with a future is one of her primary focuses.
Kingery said Southern does business primarily in the Carolinas and Georgia and most of their solar installations are done in the Tar Heel state.
“In South Carolina last year we did about 300,000 watts in business. North Carolina generates something like 20 times the amount of business for us that South Carolina does,” Odell said
The company measures its volume by numbers of solar-generated watts installed.
Most of that discrepancy can be traced directly to the difference in North and South Carolina’s incentives for alternative energy, Odell said. “In North Carolina they offer a differential for alternative energy of about 20 cents per kilowatt hour. In South Carolina it’s about nine to 10 cents.”
The same is true for large industrial applications. North Carolina offers a maximum tax incentive of $2.5 million for an industrial installation. In South Carolina the maximum is $35,000.
“I’d tell anyone who is thinking about getting into the green energy business to push South Carolina’s lawmakers to get with the program,” Odell said.