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North Carolina's clean energy policies have contributed to substantial county-level investments in renewable energy projects, according to new analysis of a recent RTI International report by the NC Sustainable Energy Association.

Overall, 22 North Carolina counties saw greater than $10 million in direct spending in clean energy development from 2007 to 2012, representing a cumulative investment of over $785 million.

The data comes from a report originally released in February by RTI International and La Capra Associates Inc. According to the study, over $1 billion in total renewable energy investments flowed into North Carolina counties over the past six years, with 88% of those investments coming in the form of projects valued at $1 million or greater, the report adds. Looking across the state, the NC Sustainable Energy Association says the study also found that North Carolina’s clean energy investments have been responsible for over $1.7 billion in gross state product since 2007.

According to the association, the new county-level review reveals that rural and suburban areas in counties such as Davidson, Person, Cabarrus and Robeson were among the biggest winners in the race to stake a claim to leadership on clean energy with the associated job and investment benefits that come with it.

“The data clearly shows that North Carolina’s clean energy policies are providing an economic boost in counties all around the state,” says Lowell Sachs, director of communications for the NC Sustainable Energy Association. “In addition to creating paths for future business development, these clean energy investments bring badly needed revenue that can support core functions of these communities like roads, schools, fire departments and police.”

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