Study: Solar benefits outweigh costs in NC

North Carolinians could save $26 million a year if we added 500 megawatts of solar generation according to a study prepared by Crossborder Energy based in Berkley, Ca.

John Downey of the Charlotte Business Journal reported on the release and offered the following:

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UNC Student Coalition Continues Divest Push

The Charlotte Business Journal reports that the UNC Sierra Student Coalition will make its case for the university divesting it endowments from polluting companies.  From the article in today's issue:

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Officials OK rule to force fracking on NC landowners

By John Murawski — RALEIGH — North Carolina landowners would be forced to sell the natural gas under their homes and farms – whether they want to or not – under a fracking recommendation approved Wednesday that’s expected to be enacted by the state legislature this fall. The proposal by a state study group endorses a rarely used 1945 law that’s never been tried here on the kind of scale that would be required for shale gas exploration, or fracking. Thousands of property owners could potentially be affected in the state’s gas-rich midsection in Lee, Moore and Chatham counties. The recommendation, dealing with one of the most emotional fracking issues, bypasses the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission, which holds regular public hearings on protecting the public and safeguarding the environment, and goes to the legislature. “We are talking about a for-profit industry taking away personal freedoms with the blessing of the government,” Therese Vick, a community activist with the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, told the Compulsory Pooling Study Group. “Personal freedoms are seldom on the radar when the gas companies come to town.” The panel does include four members of the Mining and Energy Commission, some of whom were deeply conflicted.

N.C. attorney general: Duke Energy’s profit margin hurts consumers

By Bruce Henderson Attorney General Roy Cooper continues to hammer at Duke Energy Carolinas’ latest rate hike, saying the utility’s profit margin is too high and unsupported by Duke’s evidence. Cooper, whose duties include advocating for consumers, won his appeal of Duke Carolinas’ 2011 rate case, which increased rates 7.2 percent. The N.C. Supreme Court ruled this year that the state Utilities Commission didn’t fully document the impact to customers of the return on equity, or profit margin for shareholders, granted Duke. Cooper says the ruling should lead to lower utility profits and customer rates in other cases, including the one now before regulators.
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Wind Farms Take Root Out at Sea

From the New York Times - In a warehouse district on the outskirts of Bremen in northwestern Germany is a big, well-lighted work space dominated by the massive top section of a wind turbine called a nacelle. It is here that Siemens, the German power systems giant, trains new employees and gives refresher courses on how to work safely on modern windmills that can rise 90 meters, or about 300 feet, and weigh more than 100 tons.
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Future of NC Wind Industry at Stake

WILMINGTON, N. C. – The future of wind energy in North Carolina and beyond is in the hands of Congress, as lawmakers decide whether to extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy, set to expire at the end of this year. It's estimated as many as 1,000 jobs could be lost in the state, and layoffs have already begun at a plant in Shelby that manufactures parts for wind turbines.
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Semprius opens solar panel factory in Henderson

Durham startup Semprius on Wednesday marked the opening of its solar panel factory in Henderson, about 45 miles northeast of Raleigh, before an audience of more than 100 investors, customers, officials and employees. Gov. Bev Perdue was on hand, predicting that solar panels assembled here will be shipped to China bearing a “Made in the U.S.A” stamp.
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