In challenge to Duke Energy’s monopoly, NC WARN will suspend sales, but retain system ownership pending a final court decision
NC WARN today filed a notice with the NC Utilities Commission replying to its April 15 order in the test case over our sales of solar power to the Faith Community Church in Greensboro.
The case is a challenge to Duke Energy’s monopoly blockade against competition from companies that install sun-power systems on rooftops with little or no up-front cost to the customer. Such financing arrangements have been key to the growth of rooftop solar in other states.
The Commission sided with Duke Energy in the case and with its request that NC WARN be penalized for selling electricity. In today’s response to the Commission’s order:
. We have agreed to temporarily suspend sales of solar electricity to the Faith Community Church pending appeal to the NC Court of Appeals.
. The Commission ordered NC WARN to donate the 5.2 kilowatt solar system to the church. We notified the Commission today that we will honor our original contract with the church – that NC WARN will donate the system if a final decision in the test case finds that our arrangement is unlawful.
. We have agreed to document the revenue received from the church on solar sales to date.
. Regarding the Commission’ order for us to refund the revenue since last June plus 10 percent interest, we are placing that amount in an escrow account pending a final decision by the courts.
Rev. Nelson Johnson, our partner in the test case, expressed his support for this approach in a letter to the Commission that was submitted with today’s notice.
Our notice to the Commission should satisfy the terms of its suspension of the $60,000-plus penalty it levied against NC WARN. The penalty is $200 per day since last June, and was in response to Duke Energy seeking $1,000 per day.
The motion to begin the appeal process to the NC Court of Appeals will be filed in coming weeks.