A Durham advocacy group said it will appeal the state’s decision in a test case of third-party sales of solar energy.
NC WARN said the state Utilities Commission made several errors in its ruling against the group and that it will take the case to the N.C. Court of Appeals.
WARN had challenged the ability of solar energy developers other than utilities to sell electricity directly to their customers. The group installed solar panels on the roof of a Greensboro church and sold the church the electricity generated.
Investments in large solar farms by Duke Energy, which opposed WARN before the commission, have helped make North Carolina the third-largest solar state. But WARN claims Duke is trying to squelch the growth of smaller, rooftop arrays that could be offered to homeowners with little upfront investment.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
“The record clearly demonstrates that the N.C. Utilities Commission fully considered the facts and law in finding NC WARN’s scheme to be contrary to North Carolina law,” Duke said in a statement. “We look forward to making our case to the N.C. Court of Appeals.”
The Utilities Commission, in ruling against WARN, said the group was infringing on territory assigned to Duke. The commission imposed fines that the group said totaled $60,000, but waived them if WARN would stop selling electricity and refunded previous payments.
WARN said Tuesday it has temporarily stopped the sales while the case is appealed.