Utility’s filing with regulators has discrepancies, so hearings are needed to assess impacts on other customers and climate, says NC WARN
Duke Energy’s long-delayed proposal to offer renewable power to its largest business customers is already sowing confusion about key issues – including whether any new clean energy would actually be generated and whether smaller customers would be hit with higher rates. NC WARN is therefore seeking to intervene in the case and is calling on the NC Utilities Commission to order an evidentiary hearing.
At this time, it appears our initial concerns (see November 18 news release) about the proposal are solid. But there are important differences between the written words and what Duke is telling reporters, which is troubling since Duke delayed the filing for many months beyond its initial plans.
How could all those lawyers and PR specialists leave so much confusion in an important filing?
We trust that the Commission will agree that a proposal with such broad impacts must allow for open scrutiny including document discovery and cross-examination of Duke officials.
Key points from our request to intervene:
- NC WARN members support renewables, particularly solar, as a new source of peak generation, which has the ability to replace nuclear, coal and natural gas generation.
- We have concerns about the impact of the proposed Green Source Rider, including its limited availability to Duke’s largest customers.
- The program, as described, has the potential to rely solely on existing and/or out-of-state renewable sources and may provide no benefits to any North Carolina customers.
- It has the potential of providing incentives for new high load industries to locate in Duke’s service area, pushing costs of meeting the generation needed to meet that new load – new fossil or nuclear power plants – onto residential ratepayers and small businesses.