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climate & energy justice

Duke/Kochs Attack Solar

In 2015, Duke Energy, the Koch Brothers and other industry groups successfully kept the Energy Freedom Act bottled up in committee at the NC legislature. The Act would have opened up North Carolina to the kind of no-money-down (“third-party”) solar sales and leasing that puts solar energy within reach of many more homeowners and businesses.

Read about our 2015 Duke Hates Solar campaign and check back soon for updates on 2017 energy freedom legislation.

Read about our Solar Freedom project at Faith Community Church in Greensboro that is a test case in the state’s ban on third-party sales of electricity.

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Solar-Church Test Case Filed at NC Supreme Court — NC WARN News Release

Today, attorneys for NC WARN filed a detailed appeal arguing that the nonprofit should be allowed to resume selling solar power to Greensboro’s Faith Community Church from a system installed on the roof of the church in 2015. Several national groups joined forces to support the solar sales by filing an amicus brief in the case.

Rooftop Solar Dims Under Pressure From Utility Lobbyists — New York Times

Over the past six years, rooftop solar panel installations have seen explosive growth... That growth has come to a shuddering stop this year... A number of factors are driving the reversal... But the decline has also coincided with a concerted and well-funded lobbying campaign by traditional utilities, which have been working in state capitals across the country to reverse incentives for homeowners to install solar panels.

Solar Bill Bad Deal — Letter to the Editor of the News & Observer

By Rita Leadem. Regarding “Residents could get rooftop solar option” (June 7): Duke Energy and legislative leaders sold North Carolina a bag of beans with the Competitive Energy Solutions bill.

Duke Energy Executives Count on Climate-Wrecking Fracked Gas & Captive Regulators – but Little Solar or Wind – for Years to Come — News Release from NC WARN

If the NC Utilities Commission approves Duke Energy’s latest 15-year Integrated Resource Plan, it risks bankrupting North Carolina’s economy through costly overbuilding of high-risk power plants. And the utility will continue fouling our air and water while escalating the global climate crisis as one of the world’s largest carbon polluters.

Why none of this Charlotte solar developer’s planned 250MW worth of 2017 projects are in N.C. — Charlotte Business Journal

Pine Gate Renewables started operations at its first two solar farms just as the year ended and has secured financing to build 250 megawatts worth of projects this year. But none of that will be built in North Carolina. Pine Gate’s entire pipeline of N.C. projects has been eliminated by Duke Energy’s “stiffness test” for new solar project connections to its grid. Many in the industry contend this new requirement is grinding construction to a halt in the state.

Sensing Gains Ahead Under Trump, the Kochs Court Minorities — New York Times

The crowd that thronged a gospel concert last month in Richmond, Va., was in for an unusual Christmas treat. “Your energy bill’s paid!” the M.C. declared between soaring numbers from recording artists like VaShawn Mitchell and Charles Jenkins, calling to a young woman from the audience, who shrieked and started twirling on the floor. Though few in the crowd knew it, the concert had a powerful sponsor: Fueling U.S. Forward, a public relations group for fossil fuels funded by Koch Industries, the oil and petrochemicals conglomerate led by the ultraconservative billionaire brothers David H. and Charles G. Koch.

Durham nonprofit asks NC court to break Duke Energy’s power monopoly — News & Observer

Durham environmental advocacy group NC WARN is asking the state appeals court to break Duke Energy’s longstanding monopoly on electricity sales in the state by letting NC WARN resume selling solar-generated power directly to a Greensboro church.

Update on Solar-Church Test Case in NC Court of Appeals — News Release from NC WARN

NC WARN today filed a brief with the NC Court of Appeals in the test case over our sales of solar power to the Faith Community Church in Greensboro. We’re calling on the Court to overturn an April 15 NC Utilities Commission order that sided with Duke Energy and granted the utility’s request to heavily penalize NC WARN for selling solar electricity.

How to fight the power company — Scalawag

In 2015, Duke Energy’s state-sanctioned monopoly in North Carolina faced a pair of very different challenges from two vastly different communities. In western North Carolina, thousands of people – mostly White, middle-class, with little organizing experience--turned out in droves to attack Duke Energy’s plans for their beloved mountains. Two hundred miles away in Greensboro, a Piedmont church – serving a mostly Black, low-income community with a history of activism and advocacy stretching back decades – simply put solar panels on its roof.

Court Appeal of Church-Solar Test Case Ruling & Penalty Underway — News Release from NC WARN

NC WARN is moving the test case over our selling solar power to a Greensboro church to the courts, where we seek to overturn the NC Utilities Commission’s pro-Duke Energy ruling and a truly odd penalty it levied against us.
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Emergency Methane Action

Watch press conference at the Governor's office in Raleigh on June 15, 2017 featuring Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the NC NAACP.
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