The national campaign by entrenched fossil fuel corporations to stanch the rapid growth of solar power is now playing out full-bore in the North Carolina legislative and public opinion arenas. What needs to be a healthy debate about our state’s electricity and climate path forward is being hijacked by Duke Energy and Koch brother forces that are distorting issues in dire need of clarity.
It’s the latest chapter in a solar industry saga in which North Carolina soars above other states in many categories of solar deployment linked to large-scale commercial power projects, but paradoxically it lags in dispersing this burgeoning technology onto rooftops throughout its cities and rural areas.
If it [the Energy Freedom Act] becomes law, it would legalize the solar partnership between NC WARN and the Greensboro church without the need for commission approval of the local plan, which is aimed at trailblazing a method of financing that could make solar-energy system affordable for more people.
NC WARN is strongly opposed to Duke Energy’s announcement today that it plans to transfer its coal ash negligence to Chatham and Lee counties.
Faith Community Church and the advocacy group NC WARN unveiled a partnership in which the Durham-based nonprofit has installed solar panels on the African American congregation’s rooftop to produce electricity for sale to the church.
According to a 2015 poll by Conservatives for Clean Energy, over 86% of NC voters – across the political spectrum – support policies promoting solar power. But Duke Energy is using its corporate muscle to limit the growth of solar.
NC WARN has called on federal regulators to reconsider their decision not to investigate the costs and benefits of a regional strategy to share electricity supply. In denying our call for investigation on April 30, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ignored Duke Energy’s misrepresentation of NC WARN’s factual and legal position.
NC WARN’s motion for reconsideration
NC WARN’s original federal complaint filed with FERC
Glut in Southeastern Electric Supply as Monopolies Keep Building Plants, Raising Rates — News Release from NC WARN
Map of Southeastern Glut
Regulatory Contortion allows Duke, others to gouge customers — News Release from NC WARN
Three years ago, the nation’s top utility executives gathered at a Colorado resort to hear warnings about a grave new threat to operators of America’s electric grid: not superstorms or cyberattacks, but rooftop solar panels.
On May 7th, 2015 NC WARN and our allies raised the pressure on Duke Energy to clean up their coal ash and get on board with rooftop solar. We had a presence outside and inside the meeting to stand up for energy and climate justice!
It is curious that Duke Energy is aggressively lobbying against the new Energy Freedom Act, bipartisan state legislation that would open the door to rooftop solar competition, thereby helping the same low-wealth communities for which Duke now professes concern.
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