Larry Shirley
Former NCSC Director, Larry Shirley, talking to a 25th celebration guest.

Over three decades ago, a trio of engineering professors came together to prove we had it in us to be energy independent. Having established a solar house just outside the main campus of NC State University in Raleigh, it became clear that there needed to be an organization that not only demonstrated solar, but also had the means to create partnerships with public and private institutions to bring policy changes and public attitudes to further renewable energy technologies and markets. The result: North Carolina Solar Center.

To celebrate its quarter century, the Center hosted a panel discussion that focused on disruptive challenges faced by the electric utility sector, and how these disruptions are likely to affect the utility business model. The forum included a keynote presentation from Peter Kind, consultant to Edison Electric Institute (EEI), and a discussion including panelists: Chris Ayers, N.C. Utilities Commission Public Staff, Rob Caldwell, Duke Energy, Allen Burchett, ABB, Thad Culley, Keyes, Fox & Wiedman, LLP.

A reception immediately followed at the Museum of Natural Science’s Nature Research Center in Raleigh, NC, where over 150 people gathered to celebrate the Center’s successes and future moving forward. Larry Shirley, the Solar Center’s first Executive Director, spoke about the organization’s contributions in shaping the energy market.

“The Solar Center has done a remarkable job in offering training programs that have been front and center in cultivating North Carolina’s renewable energy workforce,” he said. Mr. Shirley was also the past Director of the North Carolina’s State Energy Office, and is now with the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

The evening ended with the Mobile Care Awards for clean transportation.

For more information about the Solar Center’s Training Programs and the Solar Instructor Series, go to:

Source: North Carolina Solar Center