Clean Energy Projects in NC to Generate 30K Jobs, Add $10B to GDP



The Inflation Reduction Act has generated over $7.6 billion in wages through announced clean energy projects, according to a report from E2. The Act has boosted U.S. clean energy industrial policy by creating incentives for energy transition, including support for the solar industry, manufacturing incentives, and tax credits. Since the Act’s implementation, over $240 billion has been invested in clean energy manufacturing and infrastructure projects, with North Carolina seeing the highest economic impact, including the creation of over 24,600 jobs and adding over $10.2 billion to the state’s GDP.

Billions in Wages Expected from Inflation Reduction Act Supported Projects

The Inflation Reduction Act is estimated to generate over $7.6 billion in wages from already-announced projects, reports from E2 indicate.

The Act boosts the US clean energy policy by incentivizing both supply and demand sides, thereby accelerating the country’s energy transition.

This legislation includes several provisions supporting the US solar industry and other clean energy technologies, like a long-term federal investment tax credit, major domestic manufacturing incentives, labor standards, energy production tax credits, and more.

North Carolina is projected to greatly benefit from this landmark law and subsequent clean energy projects. In its first year, nine major clean energy projects were announced, expected to create 24,600 jobs, generate $7.6 billion in wages, and contribute more than $10.2 billion to the state’s GDP. Once operational, these projects are expected to sustain 5,400 jobs, generate $380 million in wages, and add $594 million to the state’s GDP annually.

Since the IRA’s implementation, over $240 billion has been allocated to clean energy manufacturing and infrastructure projects, including over $86 billion invested in nearly 300 new solar, wind, and energy storage projects.

Broken down by tech, the first five years of construction phase jobs in North Carolina are expected to support 23,678 electric vehicle-related jobs, along with 303 electrification, grid, and transmission jobs, and 588 battery and energy storage jobs. For long-term jobs, 5,208 EV jobs are expected to be added, along with grid and storage jobs.

The state has announced varied new projects, including EV and car charging equipment manufacturing facilities, lithium processing plants, and more. UNC Chapel Hill held its 10th annual Cleantech Summit to review the state’s recent successes and outline future plans.

Kempower Inc., an electric vehicle charging manufacturer, is constructing a $41 million, 600-employee factory in Durham, highlighting the ripple effect these investments have on local communities and job creation.

The solar industry, already the fastest growing energy source, has seen long-term stability and clarity from the IRA. The 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) was extended through 2032, creating a sustainable subsidy that breaks the boom-and-bust cycle caused by shorter-term ITC extensions.

Solar added a record 36.4 GW of utility-scale storage and 14.3 GW of battery energy storage in 2023, accounting for more than 80% of new capacity additions for the year. Solar, storage, and wind energy accounted for nearly 95% of the capacity added to the grid in 2023, and 2024 is predicted to build on this monumental year.

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