Faith Community Church, a small, mostly African-American congregation, has a long history of activism dating back to the civil rights era. About a decade ago, church members, who worship in a small space within the Beloved Community Center, a larger hub for social justice activism, began to recognize the growing urgency of climate change, as well.
Solar Freedom in Greensboro
NC WARN partnered with Faith Community Church in Greensboro on a test case challenging Duke Energy’s blockade against competition from companies that install solar with little or no upfront cost. Learn more here and in the news items below.
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How Solar Panels on a Church Rooftop Broke the Law in N.C. — Inside Climate News
An environmental group and a largely African-American church tried to challenge North Carolina’s utility monopoly by generating cheap, clean power. They lost.
NC Supreme Court Ruling in Solar-Church Test Case — Statement from NC WARN
Regarding today’s NC Supreme Court ruling against the NC WARN-Faith Community Church partnership in our two-year Solar Freedom test case: It’s very unfortunate that Duke Energy remains able to protect its monopoly against clean competition and to keep stifling the growth of cheaper solar power across North Carolina.
Article by Associated Press
Article by Inside Climate News
Article by Religion News Service
N.C. Supreme Court To Hear Appeal Over Church Solar Project – WFAE
The state Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday on whether it’s legal for anyone other than a public utility to sell electricity in North Carolina. The case began in 2015 when the environmental group NC WARN installed solar panels on a Greensboro church rooftop, then began selling electricity to the church. NC WARN notified state regulators immediately, setting the stage for a legal challenge to the state’s ban on so-called “third-party” sales of electricity.
Before state Supreme Court, Duke Energy lawyer calls NC WARN’s solar agreement with church “almost exploitative” — The Progressive Pulse
The sun has risen and set nearly 1,100 times since NC WARN installed a small solar power system on the roof of Faith Community Church in Greensboro. And since that time in May 2015, the Durham-based environmental nonprofit has been fined $60,000 by the NC Utilities Commission — the penalty was later rescinded — and has taken its case to the Court of Appeals, which ruled 2–1 against NC WARN. The group appealed and today argued before the state’s highest court that it should be allowed to provide solar energy to the church.
More media coverage
Greensboro solar case heads to N.C. Supreme Court — Winston Salem Journal
Activist energy group NC WARN asked the North Carolina Supreme Court today to reverse state regulators’ past rulings against its solar-power deal with a Greensboro church.
Solar-Church Test Case Filed at NC Supreme Court — NC WARN News Release
Today, attorneys for NC WARN filed a detailed appeal arguing that the nonprofit should be allowed to resume selling solar power to Greensboro’s Faith Community Church from a system installed on the roof of the church in 2015. Several national groups joined forces to support the solar sales by filing an amicus brief in the case.
North Carolina’s Solar Market Gripped by Growing Pains, as Gigawatts of Projects Are Planned – Greentech Media
Solar-Church Test Case Goes to State Supreme Court — News Release from NC WARN
A test case that goes to the heart of Duke Energy’s monopoly control over captive customers will be decided by the NC Supreme Court. Climate justice nonprofit NC WARN today filed with the high court an appeal of the case, which began in June 2015 when the group began selling solar power to the Faith Community Church in Greensboro from a system installed on the roof of the church.
Greensboro church headed to N.C. Supreme Court over solar panels – Winston-Salem Journal
Court of Appeals Rules for Duke Energy in Solar-Church Test Case – News Release from NC WARN
NC WARN is strongly considering an appeal to the NC Supreme Court, and Judge Dillon’s extensive and powerful dissent guarantees our right to do so. Judge Dillon cited the federal constitution and multiple NC Supreme Court decisions regarding private property rights, and explained that the Greensboro test case does not make NC WARN a “public utility” as claimed by Duke Energy and the NC Utilities Commission (NCUC).
Duke Energy, NC WARN in power struggle over the right to sell solar energy — NC Policy Watch
Faith Community Church lies over the railroad tracks south of downtown Greensboro, an area with few trees to shade it from the sun. That makes for a hot walk in the summertime, but the neighborhood, and specifically, the 11,839-square-foot church and community center, is an ideal place for NC WARN to install a solar energy system on a roof.