Regarding Duke Energy’s request that the Utilities Commission stop nonprofit NC WARN from selling solar power to a church: A company spokesman in a Nov. 15 letter “NC WARN needs to follow the rules” simply cited state regulations prohibiting third-party utility sales. There is much more at issue.
North Carolina is one of four states with the prohibition sustaining statewide monopolies. At issue is whether a nonprofit can sell energy to another nonprofit.
NC WARN argued that its agreement to sell solar power to the Greensboro church is simply a funding mechanism that enables the African-American church to avoid upfront costs of solar panels. The executive director explained, “We don’t want solar to be something that’s just available to people with means.”
This is no light matter for Duke Energy, which may explain its willingness to play Goliath with NC WARN’s David. The “people power” group urges efficiency and clean energy. It pushes Duke to generate renewable energy and scoffs at the company’s projection of 4 percent solar power within 15 years.
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The fine that Duke Energy wants the commission to levy on 28-year-old NC WARN could threaten the persistent organization’s existence. One can understand how Duke Energy just might want to get rid of NC WARN.
Carole W. Troxler