In a landmark development, the North Carolina House has passed 589, a progressive bill that is expected to reform the Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act, aspects of the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards.
The Competitive Energy Solutions bill is a stakeholder-driven bill that addresses many important renewable energy issues in the state.
- It opens up the state to third-party solar leasing
- Sets the path for community solar in NC
- Allows for solar rebates to help customers go solar
- Establishes a competitive bidding process for new solar
- Sets benchmarks for new solar – almost 3,000 MW over the next 3.5 years.
“House Bill 589 is a major step forward in energy policy to ensure North Carolina remains competitive in the global economy in which we live,” Joseph Kyzer, communications director for Speaker Tim Moore (R-Kings Mountain) said in a statement. “This legislation represents agreement among a very diverse group of renewable energy, customer advocate and utility organizations after almost a year of stakeholders negotiations.”
“This bill is a victory for customers and for the state of North Carolina. First, it makes solar energy more affordable and efficient for all customers—while providing a balanced, reliable approach to connecting solar energy onto the grid,” said David Fountain, president – Duke Energy North Carolina.
“Second, it helps maintain North Carolina’s competitive position as a leader in energy policy and economic growth, both of which are important to preserving a pro-growth business climate for our state,” Fountain added.
“While we have reservations about some elements in the bill, we believe that – taken in total – the Competitive Energy Solutions Act represents an important step toward North Carolina’s clean energy future,” said David Kelly, manager, North Carolina Political Affairs, Environmental Defense Fund, in a statement.
“This bill will further secure a favorable economic climate for clean energy business growth, continue to attract investment in new renewable energy development across the state, and deliver on the public’s demand for cleaner, healthier, safer energy sources,” Kelly added.