Save Money in this Sunday's paper

N.C. Opinions: Fayetteville

comments

Don’t hurt N.C. solar

From an editorial in the Fayetteville Observer on Friday:

Solar energy is clean, quiet and not expected to run out before the human race does. North Carolina is now the nation’s fourth-largest producer.

The state’s Utilities Commission is meeting to decide on revised solar regulations, including setting rates and determining what sort of contract applies to producers of various sizes.

A few companies, including Google and Apple, operate off-grid North Carolina solar farms to power regional sites. But most sell to utility companies, especially the state’s largest, Duke Energy.

Solar-farm operators want some changes that would favor them. They’d like higher rates, reflecting the health benefit of solar over other forms of power. Duke objects, promising to pass costs on to consumers. Commissioners should proceed carefully.

But Duke also wants them to prevent solar farms bigger than 100 kilowatts from qualifying for the most favorable contracts. With today’s threshold at 5 megawatts, the stricter standard would strip the benefit from all but the tiniest, least practical operations.

Advocates for solar say this reduction would kill many farms, which they suspect Duke wants. Most expenses in running a solar farm are in construction. Without promise of a long, rewarding contract, it will be harder for many investors to take the solar plunge. This drastic change makes little sense. Commissioners should reject it.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more



Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more


Quick Job Search
Salary Databases
Your 2 Cents
Share your opinion with our Partners
Learn More
CharlotteObserver.com