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.
Duke Energy officials describe the flaw as a small depression in a welding seam. They say the public was never in danger. Critics aren’t so sure.
“The industry has had this problem for a number of years and they haven’t been able to figure out how to prevent it from occurring,” said Jim Warren, with the nuclear watchdog group NC WARN.
A North Carolina minister and an environmental watchdog have sent a letter to Duke Energy President and CEO Lynn Good, criticizing the utility giant for targeting African-American community leaders as part of its campaign against rooftop solar.
If energy activist Jim Warren has anything to say about it, solar panels one day will grace the rooftops of every suitable house, store, office and factory statewide.
But he and his Solarize NC program are taking it a few cities at a time, and the Greensboro area is next on their agenda.
The N.C. Supreme Court has upheld the most recent Duke Energy Carolinas rate increase, ruling in the last of a spate of challenges to Duke utility rate cases filed by the N.C. Attorney General’s office and advocacy groups….NC WARN Executive Director Jim Warren responded that the decision amounts to the court allowing Duke “to continue rigging electricity rates against small customers.”
“This is a statewide problem,” Nick Wood, an organizer for NC Warn, a nonprofit energy-industry watchdog, told a group of people gathered at the volunteer fire department in Moncure on Thursday night to discuss strategy. “We need a statewide solution.”
The state Utilities Commission rejected both proposals and kept the basic framework for solar the same. Legal counsel with NC WARN, John Runkle, says the issue at hand is the real value of solar is not being recognized, and the rules allow Duke Energy to slow-walk contract and interconnection negotiations.
NC WARN wants the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to calculate “how many billions are being wasted across the Southeast” due to the overbuilding of generation facilities, and to push seven southeastern states for data that would show “how much could be saved annually if utilities begin sharing power supply through regional cooperation.”
Duke Energy and other utilities in the Southeast are building power plants that aren’t needed, gouging consumers, a Durham advocacy group said Tuesday in a federal complaint.
NC WARN asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to order an investigation of the billions of dollars the group says are being wasted.
NC WARN Executive Director Jim Warren says the ad accuses Duke of telling “fish stories” about its support for solar. Warren says solar developers told regulators this summer that changes in state solar rules proposed by Duke and other utilities made would strangle the industry.
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