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.
Several environmental watchdog groups will host a forum and discussion Thursday at the New Bern-Craven County Public Library on the topic, “Coal Ash Ponds on Our Rivers.”
Since the program launched during the summer, Solarize Chatham County has installed 56 solar panel systems on homes, which will generate 319 kilowatts of solar power, according to Jim Warren of N.C. Warn, a Durham-based clean energy advocate.
The 16 people who attended watched a few short films about coal-related pollution. That was followed by a discussion led by organizer Nick Wood of NC Warn, a group that advocates for climate protection through the use of clean energy, and Christine Ellis of the Winyah Rivers Foundation.
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