This article originally appeared in Inside Business - The Hampton Roads Business Journal, on January 26, 2015.
Companies that are interested in exploring the benefits and costs of sustainable or green commercial development often need support to help them gain access to data; tools to assess costs and incentives; benchmarking information; and national, state and local policies and resources.
In addition to national organizations such as the National Resources defense Council, which works with businesses and partners to help them reduce their environmental impacts and share their successes with their peers, there are state and local organizations that are also valuable resources for green research and assistance.
Real estate developers in North Carolina are lucky to have access to the NC Clean Energy Technology Center (formerly known as the NC Solar Center). Chartered by the University of North Carolina system, the NC Clean Energy Technology Center is a public service center dedicated to promoting and developing clean energy and a sustainable economy via demonstration, technical assistance, outreach and training. Identified as a state agency, the center is respected for its assistance to the burgeoning “clean tech” sector in North Carolina, as well as one of the premier clean energy centers of knowledge in the United States.
How Can the NC Clean Energy Technology Center Help With My Commercial Development?
The staff at the Center works with a wide variety of partners to provide support to businesses as well as citizens and government agencies by offering advice and resources on:
Specifically, the center provides energy assessments, solar testing and financial modeling and design assistance, among other services.
The Center’s energy assessment services help business and industry clients making the best possible investment choices from energy technologies on the market today. This includes helping businesses determine if a commercial development or facility is a good candidate for solar technologies, online distributed power generation, or other renewable technologies. It also offers guidance to determine how a facility could benefit from optimization of compressed air, fan, motor, process heating, pumping, steam or other energy insensitive systems.
The center provides Building Industry Design Reviews for commercial developments, government (state & local), institutional and residential projects, which are especially beneficial in the early stages of a project.
Solar Testing and Financial Modeling
A cost/benefit analysis is easier to conduct for your commercial development using the data available from the Center’s customizable, solar dashboard, which is based upon performance testing that the Center’s engineers have provided to designers, manufacturers, and distributors of large scale concentrating solar thermal systems, low cost solar air heaters, concentrating PV systems, traditional PV modules, flat plate solar thermal collectors, and evacuated tube solar thermal collectors.
The NC Clean Energy Technology Center also hosts a comprehensive database of federal, state and local business incentives that are tied to sustainable and green initiatives, called DSIRE. In the next installment of this post, we will explore some of the specific incentives that may be worth exploring for your commercial development.
To learn more about sustainable commercial development in North Carolina, and specifically in the growing region of Currituck County (just 30 minutes outside of bustling Hampton Roads), visit us at ThinkCurrituck.com.