Pols Set Solar Against Wind In North Carolina
North Carolina wind moratorium threatens hard-won solar compromise; A last-minute hold on siting new wind farms could unravel a solar reform bill crafted by Duke and renewable energy advocates
Herman K. Trabish, July 6, 2017 (Utility Dive)
“A coalition of renewable energy and environmental advocates overcame contention with Duke Energy, the state’s dominant electricity provider, to negotiate a compromise bill to increase state solar capacity to 6,800 MW by 2022 while saving ratepayers $849 million over ten years. The House approved it 108 to 11. Then the bill went to the state Senate, where last-minute negotiations imposed an 18-month moratorium on permitting now wind projects and required further study on wind’s impacts..."
"Wind advocates say the moratorium could cost the state billions in rural region investment and devastate North Carolina’s budding wind industry, which only brought its first project online in 2016. But the amended bill was passed 66-41 by a reluctant House and 36-4 by the Senate. Gov. Roy Cooper (D) now faces a Sophie’s Choice. After enthusiastically endorsing the preliminary House compromise, his office has been quiet on the wind moratorium. If he signs the bill or lets it become law without his signature, wind loses. If he vetoes the bill, all the work that went into the solar compromise could be lost… click here for more