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Mecklenburg 10th-highest in green energy investments

Mecklenburg County ranked 10th in North Carolina in renewable-energy investments valued at more than $1 million each between 2007 and 2012, an advocacy group says.

The N.C. Sustainable Energy Association pulled county data from a February report by RTI International and La Capra Associates that the association commissioned.

Investment in Mecklenburg over the five-year period totaled $23.5 million, the report said. Davidson County, northeast of Charlotte and the site of a large solar farm that supplies Duke Energy, led the list at $130.3 million.

The reports have been rolled out as North Carolina legislators debate a bill that would repeal or freeze the state’s renewable-energy portfolio standard, which says green energy or energy efficiency has to equal 12.5 percent of utilities’ sales by 2021. The bill is still before a state House committee.

Conservative legislators say the standard unfairly forces consumers to subsidize green energy. Advocates say it’s created thousands of new jobs and stimulated the economy.

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