January 28, 2014
Powerful utilities have their advocates and detractors. The movement to renewable energy continues to be an option for energy solutions. The complexity in planning renewable development has two wrinkles. The first wrinkle is the strategy and plan; and two the infrastructure to support its development. Within in this complexity are road blocks to change. One such road block was cited by the “Groups accuse Duke Energy of blocking NC solar development“. This may roll out to be interesting political and economic tipping point as Duke Energy’s headquarters are in Charlotte, North Carolina.
It was reported that various “community-action groups and Charlotte City Council member John Autry staged a protest at the Duke Energy Center, accusing the power company of proposing rules to prevent the spread of rooftop solar in North Carolina. Further, Monica Embrey of Greenpeace accused Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE:DUK) of aligning with the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, which has proposed model legislation to reduce payments to customers for solar sold back to utilities,” reports Charlotte Business Journal.
Also, the “Rev. Kojo Nantambu, president of the Charlotte NAACP, criticized Duke for seeking a series of rate increases in recent years and “attacking” North Carolina’s net metering rules, which require the company to pay customers that operate solar projects when the panels produce more power than the customer is using.”
Both Embrey and Nantambu keyed on statements Duke’s North Carolina President Paul Newton made to a legislative committee a couple of weeks ago. Newton’s response was “that the state review the net metering rules”.
When community and utilities are able to meet on common understanding of its power needs based on delivering a plan for capacity, security and cost the next step to follow is the development of legislation. North Carolina’s official website does not highlight its Energy Plan or Sustainability report.