In a proceeding that could boost or dampen North Carolina’s fast-growing solar industry, the N.C. Utilities Commission is taking a new look at the rates utilities pay for renewable energy.
Jim Warren, executive director of the advocacy group NC WARN, said he sympathizes with Rogers’ push for a greener future but adds that North Carolina, where Duke is still dominated by fossil fuels, has little to show for his efforts. Duke is currently 41 percent coal, 33 percent nuclear, 24 percent gas, and 2 percent hydropower and solar energy.
Duke Energy still wants to pay less to the owners of rooftop solar power systems from whom it buys electricity to feed back into its grid. But the utility provider won’t say until later this year how much less and when.
Today NC WARN began an intensive statewide public and legal campaign to expose Duke Energy’s efforts to stifle North Carolina’s growing solar power industry at both the rooftop and large-scale levels.
This N&O editorial is consistent with NC WARN’s view: that Duke Energy is not doing enough to promote solar power.
There’s good news for alternative energy and northeastern North Carolina in the announcement that Duke Energy Renewables will build a massive solar energy project in Pasquotank County. But this sunny story also casts a shadow.
Gov. Pat McCrory, himself a long-time employee of Duke until his retirement, came up with a plan for regulation and cleanup that was underwhelming.
N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper has become the latest Duke Energy critic to urge state lawmakers to spare the public from paying billions of dollars Duke would incur if the legislature forces the power company to fix leaky coal ash lagoons.
A new poll shows that, overwhelmingly across the political spectrum, North Carolina voters say that Duke Energy shareholders – not customers – should pay to clean up all of the utility’s 33 toxic coal ash dumps, and that those whose negligence caused the disastrous Dan River ash spill deserve to be penalized.
Duke Energy’s lobbyists have persuaded North Carolina senate leaders to propose a Burn-the-Public bill that would provide minimal clean-up of the utility’s 33 leaking coal ash dumps, and maximal abuse of electricity customers and those physically impacted by toxic coal ash.
Disposing of a production byproduct is a business expense, and its cost should be borne by the company and its shareholders. The bill requires Duke to pay for its cleanup of the Dan and any future spills, but ratepayers could be on the hook for the much bigger costs of moving the ash.
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